JOHANNESBURG – Springbok number eight Duane Vermeulen hopes to share his wealth of knowledge with his younger teammates at the Bulls.
Vermeulen still had to come to terms that he will be donning the Bulls jersey but assured reporters he was committed to the Pretoria club’s cause in this year’s Super Rugby campaign.
“I am happy to be here, we have a good bunch of guys and I am looking forward to the season,” Vermeulen said after his first day of training with the Bulls.
“Funny enough, I grew up on this side of the pond but I never thought I would see myself in a Bulls jersey. It is funny how life turns out but I am happy to be here and I just want to contribute to the team.”
Vermeulen will be among the side’s Springboks that will get a run in the weekend’s pre-season match against the Stormers in Cape Town.
Fresh off a stint with Japanese side the Kubota Spears, Vermeulen said he was excited to make his mark for a side which he would have considered arch enemies when he ran out for the Stormers.
Vermeulen spent seven years of his career in Cape Town before the Euro lured him to French Top 14 giants Toulon for a three-year stint.
Duane Vermeulen in his first official Vodacom Bulls Jersey standing his ground on Loftus.— Official Blue Bulls (@BlueBullsRugby) January 29, 2019
A sneak peek of the Vodacom Bulls campaign shoot last night
See Duane in action, Get your season ticket now at https://t.co/7NhaUvf2iQ and stand a chance to win an Isuzu D-max. pic.twitter.com/yb9R9nUWYc
The 32-year-old’s arrival at the Bulls will beef an already impressive forward pack.
While the Bulls faithful have every reason to feel optimistic about their chances in this year’s competition, Vermeulen has called for caution.
“We just want to take it step by step, we don’t get ahead of ourselves, we’ll go into our first game against the Stormers and that is the match we need to win,” Vermeulen said.
“People can have their expectations, we have our own, but for now we are focusing on our first game to start the season off well and build from there.
“Yes, we have a good group of players but we also lack a bit of experience in certain areas and that is where we want to work on.”
There was bad news for the Bulls with imposing lock RG Snyman set for a two-month injury layoff.
Snyman returned to the Bulls with an ankle injury which will require surgery today and which will sideline him for eight weeks.
Hooker Jaco Visagie underwent ankle surgery and is expected to return to the field in six weeks’ time while wing Travis Ismaiel is expected to be out of action for eight weeks instead of three months after a follow-up shoulder operation.