World Cup winning South Africa international Duane Vermeulen joins Ulster

Duane Vermeulen will join Ulster from Bulls
Duane Vermeulen will join Ulster from Bulls

Ulster have confirmed the signing of World Cup winning South Africa international Duane Vermeulen ahead of the new season.

Vermeulen will link up with the Irish regional club following South Africa's commitments in the end of the year internationals and has signed a contract with his new side until 2023.

“Ulster and myself had detailed discussions about the club’s values, expectations and the potential role I can play going forward," he told the club's official website.

"It appealed and resonated with me to a point where I got very excited and decided to commit myself to this Ulster journey. I cannot wait to become part of the Ulster family and to serve as best I can.”

Vermeulen made his debut with South African club Pumas in 2005 and also featured for Stormers, Cheetahs, Toulon and Kubota Spears and most recently linked up with Bulls in 2019.

The 35-year-old also played a pivotal role in the Springboks winning the 2019 World Cup and went on to win the man of the match in the victorious final against England. Vermeulen has featured in 56 Tests for South Africa since his international debut in 2012.

“Duane is clearly a world class player who, as the current World Champions’ starting 8 and MVP from the last RWC Final, is set to bring depth and experience to our really talented group of back rowers," said head coach Dan McFarland.

“As well as being an undeniable talent on the pitch, I know Duane will play an important role going forward in strengthening the winning mindset we are building as a squad.

“I would also like to take this opportunity to recognise Bryn Cunningham’s brilliant work in orchestrating this deal from start to finish. It was always going to be a difficult ask to find a difference-making 8 but Bryn has definitely achieved that.”