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SA rugby in crisis – Duane

Elma Smit interview with Vermeulen on the Player of the year award.

Springbok No 8 Duane Vermeulen feels that rugby in South Africa is in a state of “chaos” and doesn’t expect the situation to change soon.

Last month, Vermeulen expressed his dissatisfaction with the current state of affairs with the state of the game in South Africa and hit out at the game’s administrators. Since then, Springbok head coach Allister Coetzee has denied that he’s had a falling out with Vermeulen after the Toulon captain was curiously left out of Coetzee’s squad for their end-of-year tour.

Now the 30-year-old has admitted that his criticism was a risky thing to do but feels it was the correct decision.

“You always get ex-players talking about the game,” Vermeulen told The Telegraph.
“You never hear current players say anything about the game but we are the guys who are really in there and see what is happening. Maybe I am the first active player to voice their opinion, but that is a good thing.

“I just wanted to stand up for the players. Other people feel they cannot say anything. If that hinders my opportunity to be selected, then so be it. I stand by what I said. It is just giving people the facts of what is going on.”

Although South African rugby has a plethora of problems, Vermeulen highlighted the lack of leadership from the game’s administrators.

“The most important thing is that people should pull in the same direction,” he added.
“At the moment, it is just chaos. Everyone has their own agendas. That’s my opinion. That’s how I felt within the set-up.”

Vermeulen said the state at which South African rugby has deteriorated was best illustrated in their final Rugby Championship match in which they suffered a humiliating 57-15 defeat to the All Blacks in Durban.

“It was difficult to watch,” he said.

“We played them a year ago in a World Cup semi-final and we lost by two points effectively to a Dan Carter dropped goal. One year later, to lose by 42 points shows there must be something wrong.”
Vermeulen believes it’s going to be a while before things improve, but he is hoping to still be a part of the Bok team at the next World Cup in Japan in 2019.

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  1. Duane does not take shit. That’s why he left WP (“I’ve had enough of this shit.”) Methinks he told Toetie to get stuffed and to leave him alone.
    Good to see a current player speak out.

  2. Nah, Duane was a great player, but he’s out of shape and now too full of himself. He’s not like Ysters like Juan smith who never got big-headed or through his weight around or moaned at ref decisions. You can see it in the players body language. Happened too Beussow too.

    Don’t get me wrong 2y ago, best no 8 tee wereld. Now I think he’ll just cause more problems as another one of these ‘senior players’. SA rugby got to get rid of the oupas unless they like thorn or McCAw who just never stop for the jersey, and have surpreme fitness.

  3. @cab:

    Still the best 8 in RSA and he’s back to top fitness smashing players in the NH. Nobody has been better than Kieran REad in the last 5 years though. You must have missed Juan Smith’s similar rant in the press about the state of RSA rugby and it’s coaching… far far more scathing than Duane’s. It’s clear there has been bad blood between AC and him. AC has become a walking contradiction on player’s and his coaching team and the predicament he fins himself in.

    At the very least Duane would make my side over Oupa Mahoje any day of the week…

  4. Juan smith is not vying for Springbok selection. If Duane announces his retirement from test rugby by all means speak out, but his recent games for the Boks have been poor.
    spunds like sour grapes to me for his own poor form.

  5. Thor can say what he want but he has not been part of this group so no he is not in the current setup so take everything he say with a half kilo of salt….

    He sits is France and are not part of the solution but part of SA Rugby biggest problem players not playing SA.

    Our rugby has been in chaos since 2014 so nothing new that he saying…

    Can Thor still add to Springbok rugby? Hell yes

    Is he getting a Christmas card from me? Hell no but that is because he left to play in France

  6. @Jacques:

    “Thor can say what he want but he has not been part of this group”

    He was part of the June series group and he was part of the previous coach’s group, do you really think he knows nothing that goes on behind the scenes?

    I love how all of a sudden everyone’s comments on the piss poor state of SA rugby must be taken with a pinch of salt. Jacques, please tell who we are allowed to believe nowadays? Seems you have a pipeline to the truth.

  7. I think jacques makes a good point.

    If you not part of the solution, ie in SA, then your comments are next to worthless. I dunno how great venter is , but ppl chirping from the sidelines (myself included), comments don’t mean zip. While you out, you got no stake imo. venter was also in uk but at least he tried to do something in the Indaba.

    All that said imo if SA want to move on they need a foreign coach to move things forward.

  8. @cab: I actually would like to see Venter more involved..

    Don’t get me wrong, Thor is a great player and on form we do not have his equal in SA .

    I am sure he is trying to speak out of his heart as a player, I always liked Thor as he is something different and give his all on the field.

  9. @Craven: @Craven:

    Someone like the normal humility filled Duane (and Juan Smith) are the first people I listen too…


    Arguably one of the worst loose-forward trio’s I’ve witnessed in Bok rugby… that punters are ‘still’ ruing the loss of Kolisi is mind-numbing. The best Boks of the past have had huge bone-crunching ball-carrying 7’s like a fit Alberts, Danie, Juan to name but a few… and the Boks still have many youngsters like that sitting on the sidelines…

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