Vermeulen pays tribute to Whiteley
Cape Town - Stormers captain Duane Vermeulen has paid
tribute to Lions skipper Warren Whiteley in the build-up to Saturday’s Super
Rugby clash between the sides at Newlands.
The Lions, who go into Saturday knowing
that only a win will keep their playoff aspirations alive, have been a vastly
improved side this season with No 8 Whiteley having received much
praise along the way.
“He’s an exceptional player,” Vermeulen said
of his opposite number.
“He’s a guy that never seems to tire. He
runs around and is happy to lead a perfectly good team that follows him.
“He’s a good leader … exceptional guy and a
very good workhorse.”
Vermeulen added that it wasn’t only Whiteley
who deserved credit, but the Lions’ other two regular loose forwards Jaco Kriel
and Warwick Tecklenburg.
“They have also been exceptional this year
and as a combination they just work together and they work hard for each
other,” said Vermeulen.
“It’s going to be a tough battle for us and
definitely one as loose forwards that we’re looking forward to.”
A Stormers victory on Saturday will secure
them top spot in the South African conference regardless of what happens in their
final fixture against the Sharks in Durban next weekend, but Vermeulen is
approaching this weekend like he would any other.
“Any game in Super Rugby is a big game for
us. If you look at a game lightly then you end up losing a game like we did
against the Cheetahs,” said Vermeulen.
“You have to take every game seriously.
Every game is tough out there.”
The match kicks off at 17:05.