Cape Town - English club Bath are reportedly eager to secure the services of Springbok No 8 Duane Vermeulen.
Vermeulen recently left French club Toulon and confirmed after this past weekend’s Test against England that he would not be available for the Springboks’ 2018 Rugby Championship campaign.
It is believed that he will head to Japan for a short stint in the Top League.
After that, he could head for England to play for Bath in the English Premiership, Netwerk24 reported on Sunday.
The Afrikaans website also reported that Vermeulen will play for the Kubota Spears in Japan until January. They are coached by former Lions and Bulls mentor Frans Ludeke.
There were rumours that Vermeulen would join a South Africa Super Rugby franchise but he may prove too expensive for SA Rugby and a franchise to come to an agreement on a dual contract.
The 31-year-old had represented the Stormers in Super Rugby before he left for France in 2015.
Last Saturday's Test between South Africa and England was Vermeulen's 42nd international. He proved his worth in the series, which the Boks won 2-1, and is part of coach Rassie Erasmus' plans for the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan.
Vermeulen, meanwhile, said he would miss being a part of the national set-up during the Rugby Championship.
will be difficult not to be part of it but we’ve got the plan and I
have spoken to Rassie (Erasmus, Springbok coach) about it. I think there is still more time in the
coming weeks to work out exactly what we want to do," he said at Saturday's post-match press conference at Newlands.
Vermeulen however insisted that he intends being part of the team's plans going forward.
"I’m really happy to be back and I hope to be a part of
the Tests down the road. It’s a great team, we’ve got a great captain
and the guys just need to stick together. This is a nice phase for us to build towards the World Cup and if I can be a part of that I will give 110%."