Sat, 06 Jun 2020

Q&A | Springbok No 8 Duane Vermeulen

08 Apr 2020, 21:12 GMT+10

With the far-reaching impact of the coronavirus on sport, DUANE VERMELUEN shares how he has adapted his routine to accommodate physical distancing and staying home while still keeping physically fit and mentally strong.


How are you keeping in shape and have you needed to adapt your training?

Yes I have because we can't go and run as my garden is too small for this. I am trying to stick to the programme been given by national team senior management, so I try to burn as much calories as I can by working out in my garage with a few weights and with an Assault Bike I got from Vibe Fitness.

What shoes do you train in?

I have been with the PUMA brand for a number of years, so I have a variety of trainers (and boots!). My favourite pairs at the moment are the PUMA LQDCell Tension as well as the Hybrids.

Have you had to adjust your diet to maintain your "fighting" weight?

Hmm, not really, I am pretty lucky in that aspect as I don't really loose or gain weight, unless I do absolutely nothing.

Have your club, manager, agent been checking in?

Yes I have spoken to the national team senior coaches on what to do and where we need to be when everyone gets together.


How are you staying motivated?

It's easy to stay positive when you're around your family. They give you perspective and reason to do what you do.

What words do you live by when faced with challenges?

By creating memories, because in the end that is all we have.

The past 12 months include you winning your 50th Test cap against New Zealand in the opening game of the RWC and then winning the Cup and being named Man of the Match in the final. Can you share what this means in terms of your childhood dreams and goals?

I always wanted to represent the Springboks, it was a dream that became a reality. I never thought that I would play one test, not even talking about my 50th. It was an amazing feeling and to play against the best team in the world at that stage was fantastic. Winning a World Cup is definitely the ultimate in every player's career so to be a part of a team that achieved that - lifting the Webb Ellis Cup - was the best feeling ever. All the sacrifices over the years paid off.

Having achieved so much in this elite tournament, fans would have understood if you had retired on that high point, so what keeps you playing rugby?

Hmm, I could have retired, but I have one more box to tick before I hang my boots and call it quits. I still want to play the Lions series in 2021, so let's see. I was lucky enough to play them in 2009. I represented Western Province and Emerging Boks, but never as a Springbok. So hopefully I can get a chance.

You played in a pair of PUMA Future Netfit boots, in your 50th game against NZ, specially branded. Where are those boots now?

Yes I did and those boots are in my trophy cabinet. It was a fantastic gesture from PUMA and something that I will never forget.

Team work, standing together and supporting one another through the tough times is key to winning the RWC final, do you think all of us can learn from this?

Oh yes, I fully agree. If we as a nation can stand together, we can most definitely achieve anything. This is a difficult time but if we adhere to the instructions given, we will beat this.

You will be returning to the Bulls this year and the 2007 RWC-winning coach has just been appointed as Director of Rugby. What will Jake White bring?

I have never worked with Jake, but his record speaks for itself and I am looking forward to learn even more about the game from a Rugby World Cup winning coach.


TV shows you enjoy?

I don't really watch a lot of TV, but I do like Brooklyn Nine-Nine.

Any books you would recommend to fans?

The Beast

Have you been developing your cooking skills, learning to play guitar, learning a new language?

Hehe, I love to cook so sharpening up on that as much I can.

Tempted to do the toilet roll challenge popular with footballers?

Hehe, I could but I will probably be really bad at it. Maybe a good reason why I play in the forwards...

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