We’ve come a long way: Duane Vermeulen, left, and Siya Kolisi at an SA Rugby Union symposium in Mthatha in July 2013. Picture: GALLO IMAGES
We’ve come a long way: Duane Vermeulen, left, and Siya Kolisi at an SA Rugby Union symposium in Mthatha in July 2013. Picture: GALLO IMAGES

Springbok No8 Duane Vermeulen has applauded coach Rassie Erasmus after his decision to appoint Siya Kolisi as captain for the three-Test series against England.

Kolisi, who is also the captain of the Stormers, will become the first black African to lead the Boks in the series against England and Vermeulen described the new skipper as a leader who will inspire the team.

Erasmus named Kolisi as captain last week and Vermeulen, who has known him since his early days at Western Province, said he has a lot of respect for Kolisi.

"He has worked very hard as a player and it took him a couple of seasons to become well renowned at Currie Cup, Super Rugby and Springbok level," said Vermeulen. "I think he is a good choice to lead the Boks because he is a great leader and a lot of guys look up to him.

"I have a lot of respect for him and he is a guy who can inspire this group. He was a young guy when he came to the Stormers set-up and I always knew there was something special in him."