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    Duane: I'm very sorry

    2015-06-22 17:11

    Cape Town - Stormers captain Duane Vermeulen and the Director of Rugby, Gert Smal, have met to sort out events that transpired in France last week.

    Vermeulen visited French Top 14 club Toulon late last week and was presented to the local French media as their new signing - a move which certainly caught Western Province Rugby by surprise.

    Smal said: "I was extremely disappointed in Duane's actions. He is a senior and respected player in our squad and, most importantly, he is our captain.

    "Not only did he let his team-mates down in a very important game week, but he let down his coaches, the union, our stakeholders and, crucially, our supporters too.

    "I had a sit- down with Duane this morning and he knows in no uncertain terms that his actions were not acceptable - it is not something we will ever condone at Western Province Rugby.

    "But I have accepted Duane's side of the story and his apology too. He will be addressing his team-mates and management tomorrow (on Tuesday), to apologise to the entire DHL Stormers squad and he will also be disciplined internally by us."

    Apologise profusely

    Vermeulen said: "I was initially meant to undergo a medical at Toulon and return to Cape Town by Saturday morning to undergo a final medical check in the case of the Stormers progressing to the Super Rugby semi-finals.

    "When I arrived in France, however, I found myself in the middle of an unexpected media conference, which, it turns out, was to be my unveiling to the local media - despite there being a confidentially clause surrounding my move. This is certainly something that I will be taking up with my agent.

    "However, all that said and done it still does not excuse my actions. I did not go through the necessary channels to clear this trip with the powers that be at Western Province and for that I would like to apologise profusely.

    "Not only did I let my team-mates down in what was a huge week for them, but I let down the management and coaches, the union and our proud supporters," added Vermeulen.

    "It certainly wasn't my intention to cause a furore of any sort, when all the focus should have been on our match against the Brumbies, and for that I would like to apologise to everyone who might have felt let down by my actions."


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