No longer contracted to Toulon, Springbok No 8 Duane Vermeulen has signed with Japanese side Kubota Spears.
‘I am honoured to be a member of the Kubota family,’ Vermeulen said. ‘I’m grateful to Kubota for giving me the opportunity and am looking forward to my time at the club.’
Vermeulen will play among other South Africans Ruan Botha, Jean Droste, Lappies Labuschagne, Burger Odendaal and Gerhard van den Heever under former Bulls Coach Frans Ludeke.
Vermeulen’s contract is only short-term and currently he is in discussions with South African and English franchises about where he will play in 2019.
The big No 8 was the stand out in the Springboks’s first two Test wins against England and was named Man of the Match for his inspirational performance in Bloemfontein.
Vermeulen has committed to wanting to be part of Springbok coach Rassie Erasmus’s 2019 World Cup plans.
Erasmus, post the England series win, said Vermeulen’s desire to wear the Springbok jersey was obvious in his performances, and that the two would manage how best to maximise Vermeulen’s participation in the World Cup year.
There are no June internationals in 2019 and the Rugby Championship is reduced from six to three matches.