Vermeulen shone for the Springboks in the recent 2-1 series win over England but has unfortunately ruled himself out of the upcoming Rugby Championship.
It is believed that he is set to join up with the Kubota Spear in Japan, where he will play on a one-season deal until January, before reassessing his options. Upon leaving Toulon, it was thought he was keen to return to South Africa in order to boost his chances of playing for the Springboks at the 2019 Rugby World Cup, but with Rassie Erasmus open to selecting foreign-based Boks, the lure of a big money deal in England could halt his return.
If he were to join Bath, he would be reunited with former teammate Francois Louw, with the pair having spent three years together at Western Province and the Stormers, between 2009 and 2011.
Bath are certainly not short of options in the back-row, though, with Louw, Taulupe Faletau, Sam Underhill, Matt Garvey and Zach Mercer headlining the group, whilst they are also able to call on the talent of homegrown flankers Josh Bayliss and Tom Ellis.
If he remains in Erasmus’ plans, too, then Vermeulen would not offer extra depth at the start of the season or during the autumn internationals, when Bath tend to lose Faletau to Wales, but he would be available during the Six Nations period.
With the South African unavailable until January with his commitments in Japan, it could be that that is exactly the role they have in mind for him, should they move to sign him ahead of the RWC.
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