Duane, Willie vie for Bok gong

December 2, 2013
Posted by

Wllie and Dwaune

Sport24 readers reckon the choice for best Springbok of 2013 is a straight shootout between Duane Vermeulen and Willie le Roux.

The Stormers No 8 and Cheetahs wing/fullback were regarded to be the best forward and back of the season respectively by Sport24 readers, garnering 29% of the vote each.

Vermeulen and Le Roux were shortlisted along with fellow Springboks Bismarck du Plessis, Eben Etzebeth and Jean de Villiers for SA Rugby’s biggest rugby award, Player of the Year, after strong performances throughout 2013.

Springbok captain and Stormers centre De Villiers was in a rich vein of form as he led from the front for the Boks, guiding his country to 10 Test wins (from 12 starts) in 2013, one of their most successful season in recent history, coming third with 18% of the vote.

Etzebeth established himself as one of the best second rows in world rugby, yet despite his IRB World Player of the Year nomination, Etzebeth could only garner a mere 14% of the vote – more proof perhaps that the hard work in the engine room often goes ignored?

Bismarck du Plessis, the only Springbok to win a major trophy this year in the Currie Cup, came last in our online poll with 10%, suggesting that he may unfairly have to pay the penalty for to his highly controversial sending-off against the All Blacks in Auckland perhaps?

Sport24 asked:

“The fans have spoken… and narrowed the SARU Player of the Year nominees for 2013 down to FIVE. Who gets your vote?”

These were the results:

29% – Duane Vermeulen
29% – Willie le Roux
18% – Jean de Villiers
14% – Eben Etzebeth
10% – Bismarck du Plessis

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  1. avatar Duiwel says:
    December 2nd, 2013 at 4:38 pm

    Hard choice.
    On pure work rate -DV
    On finding space and running-WlR
    I have my doubts on his physical disadvantage
    which I had with Russell .
    But maybe he is strong enough to survive the big hits.
    I would like to see him at 10 for twenty minutes
    Or in SRugby.
    Although depending on his defence
    the wear n tear of it,
    could shorten his career.

    I would vote for him simply because
    he is a little spark that can ignite
    a Bok back line of old.
    With the right management.

  2. avatar biltongbek says:
    December 2nd, 2013 at 5:54 pm

    I’ll go with Willie, without him our backline will become as predictable as it has been in the past, he brings a much needed enthusiasm to our attack, mistakes and all.

  3. avatar Boertjie says:
    December 2nd, 2013 at 8:18 pm

    Willie brought something new to the SA game
    and even convcinded the arch conservative HM.

    Duane still not the linking no.8 I would like
    to see.

  4. avatar Americano says:
    December 2nd, 2013 at 11:14 pm

    No slight on Duane – I like him, he’s hard nosed & no doubt is where he is today due to his time with the Fun N Gun Cheetahs….
    But comparing his impact to that of Mssrtt Willie is like comparing an urban mural to that of the ceiling in the Sistine Chapel.
    Willie is not a player as much as he is a Zeitgeist.

    Yeah, Willie’s “mistakes” are such a “burden”….boo-hoo. Hopefully one day after more practice he won’t sink when he walks on water – Puh – Lease.

    Bunny can we get an article on the De Jagr lock guy…I think there is some there, there!

  5. avatar Christo (Vetgesmeerde Blits) says:
    December 3rd, 2013 at 7:41 am

    Duanne for me, he is not perfect but a great all round player and the best nr 8 we have had since a young Joe van Niekerk.
    Willie would be a good choice too.

  6. avatar JT_BOKBEFOK! says:
    December 3rd, 2013 at 10:22 am

    Willie seems limitless
    Vermeulen is limited

  7. avatar JT_BOKBEFOK! says:
    December 3rd, 2013 at 10:25 am

    Who would be your 1st choice #8?? Kieron Read or Duane?
    I think it is a no brainer that Read is the best all-round player with brains at 8 in world rugby.

  8. avatar Christo (Vetgesmeerde Blits) says:
    December 3rd, 2013 at 1:01 pm

    @JT_BOKBEFOK!: Read is the best, no doubt. Willie also not yet in the class of Dagg, Falau and mabe even Halfpenny. He might get there though.

  9. avatar bryce_in_oz says:
    December 3rd, 2013 at 1:19 pm

    JDV right up there with these two… neither of them are making the world XV for 2013 outside of RSA… JDV and Etzebeth are along with BDP…

  10. avatar Craven says:
    December 3rd, 2013 at 2:37 pm


    Last time I checked Read wasn’t playing for SA? Are you going to penalise Duane because he is not as good as a NZ player? Duane must be in the top three number 8′s in the world this year, not too bad for a “limited” player.

    Just to add, even though I rate Read hugely, when the conditions get tough and in the Northern hemisphere conditions it resorts in a slugfeast, I know which number 8 I would want in my team, and it is not the one hanging out on the wing wainting to do an off load to the wing.:)

  11. avatar Craven says:
    December 3rd, 2013 at 2:39 pm


    Agreed, my vote would be for JdV, his play combined with his captaincy clinches it for me.

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