Select Edition

Northern Northern
Southern Southern
World World

'Sad to see that two teams bottom of the Premiership can take such talent': Duhan van der Merwe's move leaves Scotland fans questioning eligibility rules

By Online Editors
(Photo by Getty Images)

Trending on RugbyPass

More News More News

The announcement of recently capped Scottish wing Duhan van der Merwe’s move to Premiership club Worcester Warriors was met with disappointment from Scotland rugby fans.


Van der Merwe has been one of the Pro14’s best attacking weapons for Edinburgh, leading the league in clean breaks and metres gained last season. The barnstorming winger won the Guinness Players’ Player of the Year in 2020 for his performances.

The South African-born wing recently qualified for Scotland under the residency rules and was capped before the Nations Autumn Cup Internationals in a match against Georgia.

Video Spacer

Jerome Kaino on why Antoine Dupont is the best halfback
Video Spacer
Jerome Kaino on why Antoine Dupont is the best halfback

He has scored 31 tries in 64 appearances since joining the club in 2017 but his exodus continues a trend of Scottish players leaving Scottish clubs after Adam Hastings announced recently he would join Gloucester. Jonny Gray, Stuart Hogg and Finn Russell are all high-profile Scotland internationals who left to ply their trade overseas in recent years.

The move sparked debate among Scotland fans whether the eligibility rules for the national side should contain special provisions for ‘residency-qualified’ capped players, whereby they would only be picked if they still play domestically in Scotland. One fan wrote: “Perhaps the SRU should implement a rule whereby ‘project players’ qualified by residency are only picked for Scotland whilst playing in Scotland.”

Other fans decried the residency rule that ‘allows players to qualify on the basis of one club contract’.


Other fans were intrigued by comments by van der Merwe about his excitement of joining Worcester because of the way they play, highlighting the difference in playing styles might have been an influencing factor in the move.


Worcester rugby director Alan Solomons was ecstatic about the signing, calling the move ‘brilliant news’ for the club to have obtained such ‘an exceptional talent’.

“It is absolutely brilliant news for the club that Duhan has decided to join us,” he said.

“Duhan is an X-factor player, who has now established himself at international level.

“He is an exceptional talent and, I believe, will have a huge impact on the team. He has pace and power and is a world-class finisher.

“He is a player who puts bums on seats and our fans are certainly in for a treat. He is also a first class bloke and team man and will fit in well here at Sixways. We all look forward to his arrival.”


Join free and tell us what you really think!

Join Free
TRENDING A 12-word Ngani Laumape tweet has whipped up his online followers A 12-word Ngani Laumape tweet has whipped up his online followers