Vermeulen hits out at South Africa’s administrators

Date published: October 12 2016

1022.6666666666666x767__origin__0x0_Duane_Vermeulen_Springboks_training_RWC_2015

Springbok number eight Duane Vermeulen has revealed his frustration at the current state of affairs with South African rugby and hit out at the game's administrators.

The Boks suffered a humiliating 57-15 defeat to the All Blacks in their final Rugby Championship fixture, in Durban at the weekend – a result which left the 30-year-old angry and unhappy.

Vermeulen, who plies his trade at Toulon in the Top 14, revealed that it's difficult to return to South Africa because of the way rugby is being administered in the country.

He is willing to help find a solution to the problems though.

"I want to be part of the Boks but the way things are going now I can't see a positive outcome," Vermeulen told TimesLive.

"We need an intervention and I can't sit silently on the side and say nothing any more.

"I feel it's always the coaches that have their say in a team environment and as a player there is no time to focus and to talk about issues in SA rugby. We only focus on the game itself. I feel the need to speak up, for the players.

"I still want to play, be a part of the best players in the country and represent the Boks with all I have. But at the moment I can't see why players would commit 100%. That's a huge problem. Where did everything go wrong?

"It was ugly watching the game on Saturday.

"We were a powerhouse in world rugby and I feel it is my duty to also make a stand and say something on the record about the situation.

"I don't know how much respect there is for players any more.

"I feel for them and it's partially our fault because we stay silent. It also starts at the top and we need clear and decisive leadership."

SA Rugby announced on Tuesday that former Springbok centre Brendan Venter will lead a coaching Indaba (conference) next week aimed at finding solutions to the Boks' current woes.

CEOs and coaching staff of all six South African Super Rugby franchises have been invited to attend the two-day event – which will be held in Cape Town – in conjunction with Springbok coaching staff and former Springbok coaches and players.

Vermeulen is in favour of the indaba but wants it to be taken seriously.

"In the end we have to reach a common goal about how we want to play the game," he added.

"If coaches don't adhere to the agreement and principles that are set out then they should either be fined or sacked.

"It all starts at the top. And that is chaos at the moment.

"By the top, I also mean the Sports Ministry."

COMMENTS