Vermeulen excited to reunite with Coetzee

Date published: June 8 2016

Springbok number eight Duane Vermeulen is excited at the prospect of working under new Bok coach Allister Coetzee in the national team.

There is a fantastic understanding and trust shared between Vermeulen and Coetzee. The two have built up a good relationship since Coetzee handed the big number eight the captain’s armband for the Stormers in 2015.

The duo will link up once again but this time the stakes are even higher with the reunion coming at international level.

Vermeulen told reporters at Cape Town Stadium on Tuesday that he is looking forward to reuniting with his mentor.

“It’s unbelievably nice working with him again,” he said.

“It’s nice to see he still has the passion, what his vision is for Springbok rugby and what he wants to achieve.

“Hopefully he can get us all on the same wavelength to be focused on what we want to achieve on a yearly basis, as well as after four years.”

Meanwhile, Coetzee has stated in recent interviews that he will have to adapt his playing style and game strategy in order to suit international rugby.

“It’s not provincial rugby anymore – this is international. So there are lots of things that changed. I think there’s maybe more pressure and the focus from provincial to national (level) is maybe just a little bit more… but we’re really looking forward to what lies ahead,” he explained.

Coetzee will make his Springboks coaching debut with South Africa’s first match of the international season against Ireland at Newlands in Cape Town on June 11.