Springboks Springbok World Cup

The Springboks in a huddle. Photo: SA Rugby website

Springboks make major coaching appointment – report

Following the departure of Jacques Nienaber, the Springboks are set to make a major addition to their coaching group next year.

Springboks Springbok World Cup

The Springboks in a huddle. Photo: SA Rugby website

*Note: This is an updated article on the next career move for Vermeulen

With Jacques Nienaber having now vacated his post as Springboks coach after the conclusion of the World Cup, it’s expected that Rassie Erasmus will step into the top job once again.

ALSO READ | Who will Springboks play first as back-to-back World Cup winners?

However, the Springboks are set to make at least one addition to the coaching group, especially as Nienaber covered ‘defence’ as part of his role when he was the head coach.

According to SARugbymag, Vermeulen will soon be unveiled as the new Springbok defence coach, with the report suggesting that although the announcement might not take place right away, the decision “has been made”.

Vermeulen could gain some coaching experience before joining the Springboks

Recently, tributes have been flooding in for Vermeulen following the decision to retire by the double Rugby World Cup-winning No 8, who is a former captain of the national team.

CONFIRMED: Springbok legend retires after World Cup win

While Vermeulen has hung up his boots at Test level, it shouldn’t be forgotten that it has previously been reported that he could still be set for a new role of sorts at the Stormers, where he would most likely accelerate his transition into coaching.

This has now been confirmed by Stormers coach John Dobson.

“We started talking with Duane last year,” Dobson said. “We knew he was going to retire and he was keen to stay in Cape Town. We reached an idea where he could look after the forwards in our pathway, which is very important, making sure those guys are technically strong.

“He is technically outstanding. He acts as a player-coach wherever he goes, he certainly did at Ulster and I suspect very much at the Springboks. If we could get him up here that would be great. But it is subject to a few things.

“We are in a curious place, this twilight area, where the equity deal has been approved by the clubs, but it is not through the final processes yet, in terms of signing it and going through the competition commission.

“So it is curious. We are still under full administration. The Red Disa consortium doesn’t have full control, but they also have to get insight into what we spend during this period. We can’t laden them with all sorts of spending.

“We see how Duane fits in here, and we think he is keen to come and we are keen to have him. But it still does need some movement off the field. There’s a will for everybody to make it happen. So hopefully we can get it wrapped up in the next couple of weeks.”

ALSO READ | Springbok awards: Only one winner for Player of the Year!

Coaching seems like a natural move for Vermeulen

Vermeulen was seen alongside the likes of Rassie Erasmus and Nienaber during the Springboks’ World Cup pool game against Ireland, and even then he hinted at considering a move into coaching.

“You never know. If you had asked me this a couple of years ago, I would have probably said no,” he said. “But when you finish, you want to give back to the younger guys. If the opportunity arises, if there is a possibility, then I would love to stay in the game. I would like to help younger guys, younger players.

“You never know where life takes you…”

CONFIRMED | Rassie to take on Bok coach role… maybe even to 2027

ALSO READ | Springbok World Cup winner set for surgery!