Ulster land major coup as Duane Vermeulen joins until 2023

Springboks backrow missed Lions tour but returned to action against the Wallabies

Duane Vermeulen will join Ulster until 2023 in a major coup for the province. Photograph: Dan Mullan/Getty

Duane Vermeulen will join Ulster until 2023 in a major coup for the province. Photograph: Dan Mullan/Getty

 

Ulster have pulled off a major coup by signing South Africa number eight Duane Vermeulen until 2023.

Vermeulen is among the game’s most influential back rows and against Australia last Saturday he made his comeback from the ankle injury that forced him to miss the recent British and Irish Lions series.

The Wallabies clash was his first appearance since the 2019 World Cup final victory over England, in which he was named man of the match, and he will head to Belfast after the autumn internationals have finished.

“Duane is clearly a world class player who will bring depth and experience to our really talented group of back rowers,” head coach Dan McFarland said.

“As well as being an undeniable talent on the pitch, I know Duane will play an important role going forward in strengthening the winning mindset we are building as a squad.”

Vermeulen, who stands 6’4“ tall and weighs 18 stones, is a powerful carrier and a key leader for the Springboks.

The 35-year-old has accumulated 55 caps and has European experience after spending three seasons at Toulon from 2015-18.

“Ulster and myself had detailed discussions about the club’s values, expectations and the potential role I can play going forward,” Vermeulen said.

“It appealed and resonated with me to a point where I got very excited and decided to commit myself to this Ulster journey. I can’t wait to become part of the Ulster family and to serve as best I can.”

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