Springbok number eight Duane Vermeulen joins Irish outfit Ulster

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YOKOHAMA, JAPAN - OCTOBER 27: Duane Vermeulen of South Africa heads onto the during the Rugby World Cup 2019 Semi-Final match between Wales and South Africa at International Stadium Yokohama on October 27, 2019 in Yokohama, Kanagawa, Japan. (Photo by Francois Nel - World Rugby/World Rugby via Getty Images)

Veteran number eight Duane Vermeulen has signed for Irish provincial side Ulster on a two-year deal until 2023.

Vermeulen replaces fellow South African back-row Marcell Coetzee who was officially released by the club at the end of April.

FILE PHOTO: Duane Vermeulen of South Africa. /Getty Images)

The 35year-old, who has been capped 54 times by his country, has previously played in Europe featuring in the French Top 14 league for Toulon.

Ulster head coach Dan McFarland described Vermeulen as a world class player who will bring depth and experience to the position.

“As well as being an undeniable talent on the pitch, I know Duane will play an important role going forward in strengthening the winning mindset we are building as a squad,” McFarland told Ulster’s media team.

Vermeulen said he and the club had held “detailed discussions” about the club’s values, expectations and the potential role was going to play going forward.

“It appealed and resonated with me to a point where I got very excited and decided to commit myself to this Ulster journey. I cannot wait to become part of the Ulster family and to serve as best I can.”

Vermeulen, who was voted the Player of the Match during the 2019 Rugby World Cup final, is currently on duty with the Springboks at the Rugby Championship in Australia.

Vermeulen will join the United Rugby Championship in November after completing his international duties during the Autumn Tests.

https://twitter.com/UlsterRugby/status/1438460932993306628

(Story compiled with assistance from wire reports)

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