Cape Town - Springbok No 8 Duane Vermeulen is relishing the
prospect of rekindling his working relationship with new coach Allister
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The duo formed a strong partnership during Coetzee’s days as
Stormers coach, with Vermeulen handed the captain’s armband for the Cape side
during the 2015 season.
Vermeulen left for Toulon in France and Coetzee went to go
coach in Japan, but they will again join forces at the Springboks.
“I’ve walked a long road with Allister. So I understand his
though processes, the visions that he wants to achieve,” Vermeulen told
reporters at Cape Town Stadium on Tuesday.
“It’s unbelievably nice working with him again. It’s nice to
see he still has the passion, what his vision is for Springbok rugby and what
he wants to achieve.
“Hopefully he can get us all on the same wavelength to be
focused on what we want to achieve on a yearly basis, as well as after four years.”
Coetzee was renowned for adopting a conservative,
defensive-oriented game style during his tenure as coach of the Stormers.
In recent interviews however, the coach has acknowledged the
need to evolve his playing style and Vermeulen has already noted a difference
in approach at the Boks.
“It’s not provincial rugby anymore - this is international.
So there are lots of things that changed. I think there’s maybe more pressure
and the focus from provincial to national (level) is maybe just a little bit
more… but we’re really looking forward to what lies ahead.”
Coetzee will start his international coaching career with a
three-Test series against Ireland this month.
The first Test is scheduled for Newlands on Saturday,
followed by Tests in Johannesburg (June 18) and Port Elizabeth (June 25).