It was expected, it’s now official. Springbok flanker Duane Vermeulen has announced his retirement at the age of 37. The powerful number 8 has 76 caps and two world championship titles in 2019 and 2023. He wore the colors of Rugby Club Toulonnais for three seasons between 2015 and 2018, playing in two Top 14 finals in 2016 and 2017 (lost against Racing 92 and Clermont). He also played for the Cheetahs, the Western Province, the Bulls and the Stormers in South Africa, but also the Kubota Spears in Japan and the Northern Irish province of Ulster.
“Duane will forever be considered one of the toughest men in South African rugby. He was not only a formidable force for the Springboks, he was also a multi-faceted player, capable of giving his best,” said the president of the South African Rugby Federation, Mark Alexander. And added: “He was a leader who captained South Africa for four matches and retires as the most capped No.8 in Springbok history.”