Duane Vermeulen Stormers

Double Rugby World Cup-winning Springbok No 8 Duane Vermeulen is being courted for a coaching role in South Africa. Image: @Springboks/X

EXPLAINED: What Duane Vermeulen’s new coaching role entails

We take a deep dive into what exactly double World Cup winner Duane Vermeulen’s new role is in South African rugby.

Duane Vermeulen Stormers

Double Rugby World Cup-winning Springbok No 8 Duane Vermeulen is being courted for a coaching role in South Africa. Image: @Springboks/X

The veteran Duane Vermeulen may have hung up his playing boots, but his contribution to SA Rugby rugby is not over yet.

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Daniel Johannes Vermeulen — better known as Duane Vermeulen — is a double Rugby World Cup winner and one of the greatest Springboks of all time.

At 37, his illustrious career drew to a close at the 2023 World Cup in France, and it included successful spells at local unions the Pumas, Cheetahs, Western Province & the Stormers and the Bulls.

He also turned out for overseas clubs Toulon in France, Kubota Spears in Japan and Ulster in Ireland.

His honours roll consists of two World Cup titles, one Rugby Championship trophy, a Currie Cup title and a Super Rugby Unlocked title. Furthermore, he has also been crowned SA Rugby Player of the Year twice, Super Rugby Player of the Year twice and a World Rugby Player of the Year nominee once.

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Following confirmation of his retirement last November, Vermeulen was primed to join the Stormers’ coaching ranks under the tutelage of head coach John Dobson. But then SA Rugby Director of Rugby Rassie Erasmus had other ideas.

Having worked with Vermeulen for the longest time during the latter’s playing days, Erasmus identified Vermeulen as an asset that could be useful at the national level and thus offered him a coaching role within SA Rugby.

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Earlier this week, it was announced that Vermeulen has been appointed to a roving coaching role within SA Rugby, making him just the third member of a mobi-coaching unit, joining forces with existing coaches Franzel September and Bafana Nhleko.

This unique and versatile position within the Mobi-Unit will see Vermeulen working across various national teams, from junior Springboks to the women’s side, gaining valuable experience while potentially paving the way for future leadership roles within the Springboks setup.

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The Mobi-Unit is a high-performance ‘think-tank’ of top rugby coaches established by the SA Rugby (SARU) in 2012 to assist elite teams at all age levels of the game.

The HP Mobi-Unit is the brainchild of Rassie Erasmus, who started the innovative initiative during his tenure as SA Rugby’s General Manager of High Performance 12 years ago.

A ground-breaking initiative for South African rugby at the time, the Mobi-Unit sees a contracted team of specialist coaches in the ‘HP Mobi-Unit’ visit franchises, SA Rugby national teams (men’s, women’s, junior and age-grade level across both formats of the game) and even schools teams to share cutting-edge rugby knowledge.

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Duane Vermeulen
Duane Vermeulen celebrates after his last-ever Test for the Springboks. Photo: SA Rugby website.