Van der Merwe extends terms ahead of derby decider

Van der Merwe extends terms ahead of derby decider

Scotland internationalist and British & Irish Lion Duhan van der Merwe today penned a new deal with Edinburgh Rugby that will see the star winger remain in the Scottish capital until at least June 2025.

Van der Merwe, 28 – now in his second spell at the capital club – puts pen-to-paper on the extension ahead of this Saturday’s 1872 Cup decider against Glasgow Warriors, which will see a record crowd of over 30,000 descend on Scottish Gas Murrayfield to roar on the biggest names from both east and west.

Van der Merwe joins fellow winger Darcy Graham in this week re-signing with Edinburgh Rugby. The dangerous duo – who are both chasing Stuart Hogg’s all-time try-scoring record for Scotland [27] – are two of world rugby’s most devastating finishers, and are now locked in for the capital club.

On penning a new deal, Van der Merwe said: “Edinburgh is home for me. I love playing my rugby here and it’s where I’m happiest. I’m delighted to have extended terms – I couldn’t imagine playing anywhere else at this point in my career.

“Edinburgh has done so much for me in my career. I’ve always said that I want to repay the faith the club has shown in me over the years, so it was a no-brainer to sign a new deal.”

He continued: “We’ve got a special group here and there is a real feeling of togetherness, with everyone buying into what Sean [Everitt] is trying to build. I’ve really enjoyed his coaching style and man-management so far. Playing under him is great, so long may that continue.”

Joining Edinburgh in the summer of 2017 from Montpellier, Van der Merwe cemented his popularity among the capital faithful with 10 tries in his debut season.

He then averaged a try every other game for Edinburgh and was named PRO14 Players’ Player of the Season at the end of the 2019/20 campaign.

Qualifying through residency, he made a try-scoring Scotland debut in the home win against Georgia in October 2020.

He then notched up scores in both Florence and Dublin, before scoring the only try of the game in Scotland’s 2021 Calcutta Cup victory against England at Twickenham.

Van der Merwe’s blistering form brought about a 2021 British & Irish Lions call-up, during which he had the distinction of starting in all three Test matches.

His prolific international form has continued since, entering Scotland’s top 10 all-time list of try-scorers with a brace against England in the famous 2023 Guinness Six Nations win at Twickenham, the first of which – a 50m solo effort – was recently voted World Rugby’s International Men’s Try of the Year.

Van der Merwe has so often saved his best for the biggest stage, including the 1872 Cup derbies where a famous brace of intercepted scores secured a famous intercity win back in December 2018.

Van der Merwe added: “I love the 1872 Cup derbies. They are the games you want to be involved in, going up against your Scotland teammates. I’ve scored some important tries in the fixture, and it will be great to be back at Scottish Gas Murrayfield this weekend, a stadium we obviously know really well for both club and country.

“To hear that over 30,000 fans have already got their tickets for Saturday’s game is honestly amazing. As players, we can’t wait to represent the capital. We know how important this game is for everyone connected to the club and we want to give the supporters something to celebrate as we look to finish 2023 on a high.”

Senior Coach Sean Everitt added: “Duhan is one of world rugby’s brightest talents. He’s a big game player and someone that we’re delighted to see re-sign in Edinburgh.

“When I first spoke to him in the summer, he spoke about his pride in representing Edinburgh and how he wanted to have his biggest season yet for the club.

“I’ve been hugely impressed by his commitment to the jersey. Not just in games, but in training, where he has shown a desire to better himself every day.

“We are definitely now seeing the fruits of his labour, and you only had to see his recent performance against Castres to see how devastating a runner and finisher he can be.”

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