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Rugby World Cup: Duane Vermeulen has no problem facing Scots' ex-Boks

Published 03/10/2015

South Africa's Duane Vermeulen bears no hard feelings to Scotland's Springbok converts Josh Strauss and WP Nel
South Africa's Duane Vermeulen bears no hard feelings to Scotland's Springbok converts Josh Strauss and WP Nel

South Africa forward Duane Vermeulen insists he does not blame compatriots Josh Strauss and WP Nel for turning their backs on the Springboks to play for Scotland.

Heyneke Meyer's side will come face to face with the familiar faces of the newly-qualified Scots at Newcastle's St James' Park this evening.

Strauss and Nel were part of the South Africans' training squad back in 2012 but both decided it would be easier to break into the Dark Blues squad than fight for a Boks berth.

And it proved a wise move, with back-rower Strauss and prop Nel handed speedy call-ups within days of meeting the three-year residency rules.

Their inclusion in Vern Cotter's team ahead of this weekend's World Cup meeting has, though, caused some panic in the South African's camp, with Meyer admitting he had been forced to change his line-out calls in case the Afrikaners - who had both seen the Boks' play-books - cracked their codes. But number eight Vermeulen refused to criticise the tartan imports' decision to walk away from representing the land of their births.

He said: "If you want to achieve something you have got to keep knocking on the doors.

"They knew there might have been too many guys in front of them. I don't know where they started [with the national team], I only played against them in the Currie Cup.

"But everybody has got their own way of doing stuff and they follow their own route. If you want to go and play abroad... it's your own decision and you have to live with it."

Belfast Telegraph

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