Ross Roche

By Ross Roche

Senior sports writer

Duane Vermeulen hints at Bok retirement after emotional Loftus win

'Someday it will all come to an end and you have just got to enjoy every single minute and second of it.'

Springbok legend Duane Vermeulen hinted at retiring from international rugby after an emotional win over the Wallabies in the Rugby Championship at Loftus Versfeld over the past weekend.

Vermeulen was captaining the Boks for the third time in his career and helped lead the team to a thumping 43-12 win over an Eddie Jones coached Wallabies, to get their international season off to the perfect start.

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With him being the oldest member of the Bok squad at 37-years-old a lot has been said about whether Vermeulen should be included in the group that will attempt to defend their World Cup title in France later this year.

His monster showing against Australia on Saturday certainly proved that he still has what it takes to play at the highest level, but he admitted that his time in the international spotlight could be coming to an end.

“I would love to keep on playing. But sometimes you have to realise that your time is running out. You don’t know when your last game will be on home soil, so I try to enjoy every single moment out there,” said Vermeulen after the match.

“Especially this win, it ticks a different box. It hits somewhere pretty close to my heart. It was a special performance and a special group of guys, not just the players but the coaches, management and everyone.

Come to an end

“Someday it will all come to an end and you have just got to enjoy every single minute and second of it. It’s fantastic playing here (at Loftus). I took a picture with my two boys now. You have to take in every single moment.”

With the Bok management naming him as captain for the Aussie match it indicated that they were comfortable backing Vermeulen for the World Cup and his performance will have strengthened that position.

It is thus a possibility that Vermeulen will give it his all over the international season, go to the World Cup and then hang up his Bok boots after the showpiece event.

If he does that, the game against Argentina at Ellis Park at the end of the month could be Vermeulen’s final Bok appearance on home soil, if he is included in the match 23 for that game.