Duhan van der Merwe has taken a step closer to being capped by Scotland after deciding his club career is best served by signing an extension at Edinburgh.
The 24-year-old South African age-grade international made his debut against Cheetahs in November 2017 and will qualify under residency for his adopted country next summer ahead of Scotland’s tour to his homeland.
After scoring 28 tries in 53 appearances so far, the winger is Edinburgh’s current top-try scorer and just four players – Tim Visser (69), Chris Paterson (57), Simon Webster (36) and Derrick Lee (32) – are ahead of him on the club’s all-time scoring list.
Van der Merwe, said: “I’m absolutely delighted to re-sign with the club. It’s clear that big things are happening at Edinburgh. It’s an honour and a privilege to be a part of this club’s journey.”
Coach Richard Cockerill added: “On current form, Duhan is one of the most dangerous attacking players in Europe, so we’re obviously delighted to see him re-sign with the club.
(Continue reading below…)
“At 24, he’s still a young man, and his game is improving all the time. We’re excited to see him continue to score tries for Edinburgh in the seasons to come.”
The winger currently tops both the Guinness PRO14 and European Challenge Cup stats for metres gained (599 and 387), while he has beaten the most defenders (45) and made the most clean breaks (18) after ten rounds of league action.
He scored his 28th try for the club in last Saturday’s Challenge Cup defeat at Bordeaux-Bègles, elevating him to fifth place on the club’s all-time scoring list.
"Getting both knees done at 18… I’m a winger; I’m thinking, where’s my speed going to go?"
In South Africa, Duhan van der Merwe had lost his way. Edinburgh helped him find it again.
His first Scotland caps could come against the Springboks. Interview?https://t.co/9bzwbvetNG
— Jamie Lyall (@JLyall93) December 6, 2019
Speaking about his potential to qualify for Scotland and face the Springboks later this year, van der Merwe told RugbyPass last month: “If that was to happen, that would be strange, but it would be an awesome opportunity to show as a player what you’re about after leaving the country.
“I’m looking to play at the highest level possible, otherwise what am I playing for? When that opportunity comes, I’ll grab it with both hands.”
WATCH: RugbyPass have made something truly special with the Barbarians rugby team
Sign up to our mailing list for a weekly digest from the wide world of rugby.Sign Up Now