Jacques van der Westhuyzen

Compiled by Jacques van der Westhuyzen

Head of Sport

Jake wants Vermeulen to help Bulls with mauling

The Bulls are second on the URC log and chasing a first title.

In an effort to stay ahead of the chasing pack in the United Rugby Championship and to have the best chance of winning the Champions Cup, Bulls boss Jake White is keen to again turn to former Springbok No 8 Duane Vermeulen for “coaching assistance”.

The veteran loose forward who won World Cups in 2019 and 2023 before hanging up his boots is now a member of SA Rugby’s mobile coaching unit.

White’s Bulls are second on the URC points table and also in the Champions Cup playoffs and the coach is hoping Vermeulen will again be able to help his players out in the mauls and lineouts.

Vermeulen, who played at the Bulls under White a few seasons ago, previously worked with the Pretoria based team and was also involved in the team’s preparations in the build-up to their big URC win against the Stormers 10 days ago.

Rolling mauls

“This was always Duane’s biggest strength as a player,” White told Rapport about Vermeulen’s expertise in the rolling maul.

“He understands lineout defence and setting up the driving maul. Any information he can share with the players will always be of significance, as this is an area where we can improve.”

White added the Bulls would like to make the driving maul a key part of their game, as it was in the past, and that Vermeulen and Bulls forwards coach Andries Bekker could play a big part in that.

Vermeulen is one of three members of SA Rugby’s mobi unit, the others being Bafana Nhleko and Franzel September.

Vermeulen is expected to also be a part of the Springbok coaching set-up later this year, to assist in the maul and lineout aspects of the game.

The Bulls are next in action in the URC on Saturday 23 March, against the Dragons.