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Duane Vermeulen's Ulster arrival delayed by positive Covid-19 test

The Springbok World Cup winner was part of the Barbarians squad last week.

Vermeulen was with the Barbarians last week.
Vermeulen was with the Barbarians last week.

NEW ULSTER SIGNING Duane Vermeulen has tested positive for Covid-19, meaning his arrival at the province will be delayed.

The South African World Cup winner was due to join up with Dan McFarland’s squad this week ahead of Saturday’s URC clash with the Ospreys but he will not be able to do so now.

Vermeulen was part of the Barbarians squad last week before the invitational side’s scheduled game with Samoa was cancelled at the last minute on Saturday due to positive Covid-19 cases in the BaaBaas’ camp.

35-year-old Vermeulen has tested positive for Covid and Ulster confirmed he “will not train with the team this week.”

The northern province say the Springbok has arrived in Belfast, is “currently well,” and will be monitored before hopefully integrating into McFarland’s squad next week.

It leaves Vermeulen in a race to be ready for Ulster’s Champions Cup clash away to Clermont on Saturday 11 December.

The former Stormers and Bulls back row has signed for Ulster on a two-year contract but this is a frustrating start to his time in Ireland.

“Ulster Rugby can confirm there will be a delay in Duane Vermeulen joining up with the Senior Men’s squad following his arrival in Belfast,” reads an official Ulster statement.

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“As a result of testing positive for Covid-19 prior to entering the professional squad bubble, Vermeulen will not train with the team this week. He will continue to be monitored medically and is currently well.

“The Public Health Agency has been contacted, and it is expected that he will integrate into the squad over the course of next week.”

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