Rudolph Jacobs
Rugby Journalist
2 minute read
8 Nov 2019
6:05 am

Matt whispered ‘this is for your dad’ – and I cried, says Duane Vermeulen

Rudolph Jacobs

Brought up by a single mother in Nelspruit, Vermeulen played his 50th Test in the Boks’ opening game in the World Cup, against New Zealand.

South African rugby supporters cheer Duane Vermeulen of the Springboks as they start a trophy tour in Pretoria, South Africa 07 November 2019. Picture: EPA-EFE / STR

It was the words of Springbok forward coach Matt Proudfoot that reduced Springbok eighthman Duane Vermeulen to tears just minutes after that famous Rugby World Cup victory. “Matt just whispered in my ear ‘this was for him’. “That’s something special to hear from a coach and when he said that, the tears started rolling and I couldn’t stop it,” said Vermeulen. “As a small kid growing up, my dad passed away when I was eight, and there’s a lot of guys out there and also in the team whose dads died when they were a bit younger,” he said. Brought...