New Scotland international Jaco Van Der Walt will only get better and better as he racks up his cap collection, according to Edinburgh assistant coach Calum MacRae.

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The South Africa-born stand-off made his Test debut during Saturday’s defeat to Ireland in Dublin after qualifying for Gregor Townsend’s team on residency grounds.

The 26-year-old put in a controlled display as the Scots led for much of the first half.

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The wheels came off for the Dark Blues when Duncan Taylor was sin-binned just before the break but Edinburgh defence coach MacRae saw enough to suggest Van Der Walt – who kicked 11 points in the 31-16 defeat – will take the step up to international rugby in his stride.

He said: “When you go into that environment I think it’s really important to do your fundamental basics really, really well so you can show you’re capable of playing at that level.

“Jaco has obviously got a level of composure that he’s developed over the last few seasons with some really good performances for us.

“I thought he controlled parts of the game really well at the weekend.

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“From my side of things, he’s as tough and brave a defender as you’ll get in that 10 channel. He’s used to taking on big runners down his side from his Champions Cup experiences.

“And I thought he stood up to it again very well. He’s only going to keep progressing by getting more exposure at that level.

“Everyone was just really pleased not only to see Jaco make his debut because he’s worked so hard to get there, but that he also gave a good account of himself.”

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