Ulster confirm new signing Duane Vermeulen has tested positive for Covid-19

South African number eight is isolating after his arrival in Belfast

Duane Vermeulen training  with the  Barbarians in London last week. Ulster have confirmed that the  South Africa number eight has tested positive for Covid-19. Photograph: Steve Bardens/Getty Images for Barbarians

Duane Vermeulen training with the Barbarians in London last week. Ulster have confirmed that the South Africa number eight has tested positive for Covid-19. Photograph: Steve Bardens/Getty Images for Barbarians

 

Ulster have confirmed that new signing Duane Vermeulen has tested positive for Covid-19, thereby delaying the South African’s debut. The World Cup winning number eight was due to link up with his new team-mates on Tuesday after arriving in Belfast on Monday but he will now be required to isolate under UK government guidelines after testing positive for the virus.

Vermeulen was part of the Barbarians squad which was scheduled to play Manu Samoa at Twickenham last Saturday before that game was cancelled after members of the Barbarians squad tested positive for Covid-19.

“[Duane] Vermeulen will not train with the team this week. He will continue to be monitored medically and is currently well,” read a statement from Ulster.

“The Public Health Agency has been contacted, and it is expected that he will integrate into the squad over the course of next week.”

After his hectic schedule with the Springboks since returning from injury in time for the Rugby Championship and end-of-year tour, the 35-year-old probably wouldn’t have featured against the Ospreys in Swansea this Saturday in any case, but this development may even delay his debut beyond Ulster’s opening Heineken Champions Cup game away to Clermont on Saturday week, December 11th. Ulster host Northampton at the Kingspan Stadium the following Friday.

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