EXCLUSIVE: Duane channeled his last week emotions towards the the final

rugby25 April 2024 12:24
By:Gavin Rich

You don’t often imagine legendary Springbok hard man Duane Vermeulen being overcome with emotion but he reckons that is something that comes with age.

For him, knowing that the week of the Rugby World Cup final would be his last involvement with the Boks at that level, and what the game and the occasion meant to him and his family, it all started at the beginning of the buildup week to the deciding game.

“Where did the emotion really start? I would say it was on day one, the start of the training week on the Monday. I went in feeling like it was the last Monday, there wouldn’t be another Monday, and by the same token, the next day Tuesday, was the last Tuesday,” said Vermeulen, who announced his retirement from rugby after the World Cup, in an interview produced for Chasing the Sun 2.

“It’s just the knowledge that you are never going to go through it again. I think the older you get in life the more emotional you get.”

Vermeulen intimated that he had channeled that emotion for the team’s good in the final against the All Blacks.

“Guys like Rassie will say that you can’t play on emotion as emotion only lasts for five or 10 minutes and then you have to play the game. I believe emotion can help you do something and achieve something.”

Vermeulen spoke about having his children present at the game as well as his late father’s presence in his mind, something he had drawn on at the 2019 World Cup in Japan. Watch the uncut video on the Supersport Youtube channel.