Springbok loose forward Duane Vermeulen will follow Stormers prop Steven Kitshoff back to Cape Town, ending his stay at French club Toulon.
“Vermeulen is leaving, he will be replaced by an international level player that we will announce in the next 48 hours,” said Toulon club president Mourad Boudjellal.
“Duane is leaving because he wants to prepare for the World Cup (in Japan in 2019) — we had offered him a contract that corresponded to the amount of time he works.”
“We made him a great offer but he wants to go home and his national team coach is relying on him.”
New director of rugby at SA Rugby, and likely interim coach of the Springboks, Rassie Erasmus, has been open about his wanting to see Vermeulen back in South Africa.
This after Springbok assistant coach Franco Smith lauded the impact of Vermeulen after he joined the squad as a replacement on their End of Year Tour in 2017.
The powerful loose forward, who could prove particularly useful as a ball carrying blind side flank or 8th man, is expected to sign a dual contract with SA Rugby and the Stormers.