Van der Merwe: I’m buzzing to be back
Star winger Duhan van der Merwe chats ahead of Friday night’s unmissable BKT United Rugby Championship clash against Vodacom Bulls.
On returning to Edinburgh after the RWC
“To be honest, I was buzzing to come back. Initially, at the time when we lost against Ireland, I wasn’t in a great place and felt like I needed some time off. Physically, I felt very good; mentally, it was quite tough.
“I had a phone call with Sean and said, ‘look, is there any chance I can get some extra time off?’ and he managed to give me an extra week off. I’m very grateful for that and I feel really refreshed and ready to go for the season.”
On winning World Rugby Try of the Year
“I look back at it and I still can’t quite believe that I managed to score that. Everyone’s been saying, ‘congrats, congrats’.
“All I can say is. ‘yeah, mate, it’s all luck!’ I’ll take it and I’m very happy with the award. I was watching it on my phone, Rugby Pass had a line.
On chasing Scotland’s try-scoring record
“Yeah, Gregor announced the team against Romania and my name was not in it. I just looked over and Darcy was sitting there with a smile on his face.
“I thought he could get four or five and I think he got four. He is well ahead of me now.
“I will have to score a few now for Scotland if selected in the Six Nations to get ahead of him but that is going to be tough because at the moment he is in form, unfortunately he is injured just now, but what a player he is.”
On potentially facing his brother Akker at the Vodacom Bulls
“He is at the Bulls. In junior rugby i played for the Bulls as well. I know a couple of their players and he is over here so i am really looking forward to it.
“A couple of years ago when Edinburgh played Sale Sharks he was at Sale Sharks in the Champions Cup, so 1-0 to me.
“He has scored a few tries, typical hooker tries off a maul but he is enjoying it and if we play against each other it will be quite exciting.
“Hopefully he doesn’t come down my channel and hopefully I don’t go down his channel, but if we have to get stuck into each other it is what it is.
“They came up on Saturday morning after they played Cardiff so i saw him after the game and a couple of their boys came to our game but I think he left after 60 mins as it was too cold!
“I took him to Renaissance to play golf on Sunday. Jaco is with the team and i saw him as well, but Henry [Immelman] isn’t.
“They have won two out of three of their away games and are top of the table which is really good but so were Connacht, so this is another big challenge for us at the weekend playing against the Bulls.
“They are big physical men and we have to stop them and beat them.”
On having Ali Price at the club
“It is good having Ali back. He joined us this morning. He brings a lot of experience and playing with him over the past couple of years i know what he brings.
“He tries to get me into the game as much as possible, always tells me to stay busy which I quite like. Me being a left winger and him having a left boot really helps so I am looking forward to how it goes.”