Rugby Championship

Duane heaps praise on Coetzee

2014-09-19 12:50
Marcell Coetzee and Duane Vermeulen (Gallo Images)
Cape Town - Springbok No 8 Duane Vermeulen says fellow loose forward Marcell Coetzee has uplifted the team with his strong performances this season.

While Vermeulen has been one of the outstanding performers for South Africa on the international scene, especially during the Rugby Championship with his impact on attack and defence, Coetzee has had a similar influence.

The Sharks flank has displayed awesome work-rate off the ball, while his ball carries and tackles have been effective too.

Vermeulen says the 23-year-old has been a great source of energy on the field.

"It was an awesome experience slotting in with two world-class fetchers in Marcell and Francois Louw against the All Blacks. It's been amazing to work with both of them in the loose trio," Vermeulen told the website.

"With Willem Alberts out with injury, Marcell has stepped up very nicely and has made his presence felt.  

"He provides great support and brings a lot of energy to the team. The players feed off that and that inspires us to lift our own individual game."

With Louw missing the rest of the Rugby Championship with a pinched nerve in his neck, Coetzee should be a certain starter for the Springboks' home Tests against the Wallabies in Cape Town and All Blacks in Johannesburg.

The national players have been given the week off upon their return from the Australasian tour over the last fortnight. Vermeulen said he's been enjoying the off time with his family.

"It's great to be back home and getting to experience quality time with my young family," said Vermeulen. "Last weekend, I was surrounded by some of the best players in the world, and now I'm taking my son on play dates, finding myself surrounded by kids. I'm enjoying it!

"I do have to train a bit in between for preparation, but I love the off-time I get to spend with my wife and son."

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