Ulster forward Vermeulen tests positive for Covid-19

Duane Vermeulen’s debut for Ulster has been further delayed after the South Africa No 8 tested positive for Covid-19.

The 35-year-old Rugby World Cup winner signed for Ulster in September, but his debut was put on hold due to his involvement with the Springboks for the Rugby Championship and Autumn Nations Series.

Ulster forward Vermeulen tests positive for Covid-19
© Associated Press Duane Vermeulen is expected to link up with the Ulster squad next week

Vermeulen was also named in the Barbarians team scheduled to face Samoa at Twickenham last weekend, but the game was cancelled 90 minutes before kick-off following positive Covid tests in the Baa-Baas camp.

“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,” the Irish province said in a statement.

“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.”

Ulster’s next game is a United Rugby Championship fixture against the Ospreys in Swansea on Saturday, followed by a Heineken Champions Cup opener away to French club Clermont Auvergne seven days later.

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