Duane Vermeulen


The Duane Vermeulen life story reads like a classic renowned novel reveled by friend and foe.
Duane lost his father at a young age and faced a life with his single mother and younger sister, which dished out its fair share of unfair challenges, hardship, adversity, and disappointments.
Through the storm emerged a young and battle-hardened 18-year – old boy who knew that rugby was his golden ticket to survival in life. His starting line was the “last chance saloon” his dream was to make his mother, sister, friends, and extended family proud.

Duane played rugby to inspire those who needed inspiration and to silence the naysayers. He completed both missions with flying colours. In the process, Duane Vermeulen became a world -renowned rugby icon and an inspirational warrior figure for millions of rugby supporters across the
globe. Amicably called “Thor” his nickname epitomised the unique sets of character traits that set him apart as arguably the best-ever number 8 to wear the green and gold.

The journey continues, and Duane is eager to share the lessons he learned through an arduous contact sport spanning more than two decades and share the secret weapon that gave him the edge, an attitude of gratitude, and a spirit committed to resilience and belief.


• 17 years as a professional rugby player.

• 76 Caps for the Springboks. Played in 3 Rugby World Cups, 2015, 2019 & 2023.



• 2 x Rugby World Cup winning medals, 2019 & 2023.

• MOTM in the 2019 Rugby World Cup Final against England .

• 1 x British & Irish Lion swinning medal, 2021

• SA Rugby Player of the Year for 2020

• 1 x The Rugby Championship winning medal, 2019

• IRB Player of the Year Nominee 2014

• SARU Rugby Player of the Year 2014

• Super Rugby Player of Year 2014


• 245 Professional rugby games, excluding international games.

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