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Vermeulen ditches Stormers deal in favour of rival Super franchise - reports

Duane Vermeulen is returning to South Africa, but not with the Stormers – according to reports.

Vermeulen is currently with the Kubota Spears in Japan, but is set to return to Super Rugby in time for the 2019 campaign.

At the end of last season the Springbok Number 8 signed a deal to play for the Japanese side in their relatively short Top League season.

The short 32-year-old was then mooted to be returning to Super Rugby, with many speculating that the Stormers was the obvious destination for the backrow.

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After the third Test against England, Vermeulen confirmed that he will be unavailable for this year’s Rugby Championship and there was speculation about where he will be playing his rugby.

There were reports that Bath were interested in securing the Bok’s services after he done with his commitments in Japan, but that deal appears to have now fallen through.

It now appears that the Bulls and not the Stormers have won the race to his signing – according to Netwerk 24 in South Africa. What’s more, they report he has a signed a duel national contract with the Springboks, paving the way for the star to make the Rugby World Cup in 2019.

A product of Nelspruit High School, he played for the Stormers between 2009 and 2015, after stints at the Cheetahs and Pumas.

He has been capped 42 times for the Springboks, but should he choose to end his career in his native land, he will likely significantly add to that tally.

Upon return to the Bok’s fold, he will have to compete for a place among the Springbok’s heavily stacked backrow depth, which includes captain Siya Kolisi, Warren Whiteley, former Stormers teammate Francois Louw, Sikhumbuzo Notshe and Franco Mostert among others.

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Vermeulen ditches Stormers deal in favour of rival Super franchise - reports | RugbyPass