'Can't wait to get started': Edinburgh sign Duhan van der Merwe
Edinburgh have moved quickly to re-sign Scotland winger Duhan van der Merwe after he became a free agent on Wednesday following an Insolvency and Companies Court hearing in England that made an order winding up WRFC Players Ltd, the company that held player and some staff contracts at Worcester Warriors.
The 27-year-old had joined Worcester from Edinburgh following the completion of the 2021 Lions tour to South Africa but he will now reverse that move after playing 17 times for the English club that was last month suspended by the RFU and will be automatically relegated to the 2023/24 Championship if a takeover does eventually go through.
A statement read: “Edinburgh Rugby is pleased to announce British and Irish Lions and Scotland star winger Duhan van der Merwe is coming back to the capital on a long-term deal, subject to visa, medical and regulatory clearances.
“The 6ft 4in, 105kg strike-runner scored 32 tries in 67 appearances for Edinburgh after joining from Montpellier in 2017, his scintillating form propelling him into the international spotlight after qualifying for Scotland on residency grounds.
“He made a try-scoring debut against Georgia in the dark blue of Scotland at BT Murrayfield in 2020 and has racked up eight tries in 14 Tests to date, as well as starting all three of the Lions’ Test matches against South Africa last year. His return, after two seasons with Worcester Warriors, is a major boost to the capital club and van der Merwe will now compete for a place in a talented back-three group.”
Edinburgh head coach Mike Blair said: “I’d first like to send my thoughts to all those impacted at Worcester and to all players, staff and supporters affected by today’s sad news. Duhan is a phenomenal athlete and rugby player who has showcased his abilities at the highest level. He developed significantly in his three years here and we are looking forward to continuing that together.
“He is very much one of our own and we’re really pleased he is coming home. It’s an exciting development for the entertaining, attacking brand of rugby we are building at the club and something I’m sure supporters will be thrilled about too.”
Van der Merwe added: “I’d like to thank the Worcester fans and staff for all their support during this difficult period, it’s something I’ll never forget. Edinburgh is home and it’s a club I have a special connection with. Many of the players and staff are like family to me and I’m hugely excited to return and get started once again.
“I have kept tabs on the club and it’s clearly in a really positive place. It’ll be special to make my ‘second debut’ for the team – running out at the new stadium in front of the Edinburgh supporters will be an amazing feeling. I can’t wait to get started.”
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