South Africa statement: Duane Vermeulen officially retires
South Africa Rugby released a statement today confirming the international retirement of Duane Vermeulen after 76 Tests for the Springboks.
Many expected the 37-year-old veteran to bow out of Test rugby after the World Cup, and it has now been made official that his 11-year Test career has been brought to a close.
Vermeulen ended his Springboks career in style, winning his second World Cup winner’s medal against the All Blacks in Paris, starting in the 12-11 win four years after he was named player of the match in the final against England.
President of the South African Rugby Union Mark Alexander led the tributes to the two-time South Africa rugby player of the year, describing him as “one of the real hard men of South Africa rugby.”
“Duane will forever be regarded as one of the real hard men of South African rugby,” Alexander said. “He was not only a formidable force for the Springboks but also a multifaceted player who consistently delivered his best,” said Mr Alexander.
“As someone who preferred to operate away from the limelight, Duane was one of those players who never settled for second best and always gave everything he had to his team.
“He was a leader who captained South Africa in four Tests, but he also retired as the most-capped Springbok No 8 with two Rugby World Cup winners’ medals – a wonderful achievement for a player who will be remembered as a true legend of the sport.