In the past two years we have adapted to all the different scenarios the pandemic has thrown at us.
SOUTH AFRICAN rugby’s newly-crowned Player of the Year, Duane Vermeulen, says the Springboks will have to adapt to whichever scenario is thrown at them regarding the British and Irish Lions tour.
The tough No 8 yesterday also scooped SA Rugby’s Super Rugby Player of the Year award while his Bulls team cleaned up most of the other awards.
As things stand, the Lions are highly unlikely to tour South Africa in July because of the Covid-19 pandemic and on the table are options for the tour to take place either in the UK and Ireland, or in Australia.
“It’s a difficult one,” Vermeulen said shortly after receiving his awards. “Obviously, we would love to host the Lions.
“You only get them every 12 years. For our economy, the masses of tourists spending pounds in the country on the wine farms and tourism … it would be a pity if it doesn’t happen in South Africa.
“But obviously, we will need to adapt,” the 34-year-old continued. “In the past two years we have adapted to all the different scenarios the pandemic has thrown at us. If we have to go play there, then we can’t do anything about it. We haven’t played any Springbok rugby for the past couple of years.
“It doesn’t matter where we play as long as we are playing.”
Vermeulen pointed out that April’s Rainbow Cup would be invaluable for South African rugby should the Lions series take place in the UK.
“It would be really beneficial for us in terms of playing against guys who might be selected for the Lions and getting used to the conditions,” he said. “Also, SA Rugby could see how we perform in those conditions and see who they can rely on and pick for those specific conditions.”
2020 SA Rugby Awards
Player of the Year: Duane Vermeulen
Finalists: Curwin Bosch, Cornal Hendricks, Steven Kitshoff, Frans Steyn
Young Player of the Year: Wandisile Simelane
Finalists: Curwin Bosch, Stedman Gans, Ruan Nortje, Dylan Richardson
Springbok Sevens Player of the Year: Stedman Gans
Finalists: Angelo Davids, Selvyn Davids
Team of the Year: Bulls
Finalists: Sharks, Springbok Sevens
Coach of the Year: Jake White
Finalists: Sean Everitt, Neil Powell
Super Rugby and Unlocked Player of Year: Duane Vermeulen
Finalists: Frans Steyn, Marco van Staden
Currie Cup Player of the Year: Cornal Hendricks
Finalists: Marco van Staden, Duane Vermeulen
Referee of the Year: Jaco Peyper