"He's a magician with ball in hand. He's got a massive playbook in his head and is just a fantastic individual player,” said Vermeulen.

"Scotland love to play on quick ball and Finn Russell is the kingpin in that position.

"It’s a guy we really have to sit down and have video sessions on and have a look at what he does."

Vermeulen admitted to media that his presence at a third Rugby World Cup tournament was something he had been far from counting on.

“Just before I joined Ulster I was in a tough spot, the body was acting up,” he said.

“I thought maybe I should have called it a day back in 2019. The coaches reassured me to play on. Since playing my first game this year for the Boks, I’ve actually really enjoyed it.

Scottish flyhalf Finn Russell on tour with the British & Irish Lions in 2021.

Scottish flyhalf Finn Russell on tour with the British & Irish Lions in 2021.

“Mobility and flexibility get harder as you get older and you watch the young guys in the reviews and think ‘jeez, I better catch up’ and I’ve worked at it and now my mobility is better than some the young guys.

"I’m calling on that that last bit of energy that's in you and you know you want to push and finish on a high, so that's where I am at the moment."

After this year’s alignment camps, Castle Lager Rugby Championship and three warm-up tests, Vermeulen said he couldn’t wait for the RWC matches to roll round, with all eyes on a pivotal Pool B clash.

South Africa (ranked second in the world), Ireland (No 1) and Scotland (No 5) face the chastening thought that one of them will not make the competition’s last eight.

Vermeulen said: "It’s the start of your World Cup campaign, so there’s probably a bit of pressure on everyone to produce, but it also depends on how you see pressure or how you handle pressure.

"You want to start well. That’s the same for every single team - hopefully we can achieve that."