Cape Town - Springbok loose forward Duane Vermeulen said he is excited to be back in the Springbok set-up and spoke of the anticipation that is building in the South African camp in the build-up to Saturday’s big match against England in London.
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A packed Twickenham is expected for the Boks’ first match of their year-end tour of the United Kingdom and France.
After playing a pivotal role in the Springboks’ 2-1 home series victory in June over England, the experienced Vermeulen missed the Rugby Championship, where the South Africans finished as runners-up to New Zealand after two epic battles against the All Blacks.
“I am really excited to be back and it's always so special to be part of the Springboks,” said Vermeulen.
“If I do get the opportunity to play on Saturday, I am looking forward to getting stuck in.”
Saturday’s Twickenham showdown will be the fourth international meeting this year between the two teams, with the South Africans expecting a huge challenge from England in front of their home fans.
Looking back at the last meeting between the two sides, which saw England overcome the Springboks in Cape Town, Vermeulen said: “I think the weather played a big part of that match. It’s the type of conditions England are used to, so it’s going to be a bit different for us, to play up here in the north away from the harder fields and dry conditions.
“We realise it will be a huge contest on Saturday and if you don’t win your set-piece, you’re going to struggle at Twickenham,” cautioned Vermeulen.
Meanwhile, the Springboks continued with their preparations on Tuesday afternoon. The match 23 to face England on Saturday will be named on Thursday.
Saturday’s match kicks off at 17:00 (SA time).