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Scarlets sign Cheetahs hooker Marnus van der Merwe

By Josh Raisey
Marnus van der Merwe of the Toyota Free State Cheetahs during the Currie Cup, Premier Division match between Toyota Cheetahs and Windhoek Draught Griquas at Toyota Stadium on May 27, 2023 in Bloemfontein, South Africa. (Photo by Johan Pretorius/Gallo Images)

Scarlets have announced the signing of Cheetahs hooker Marnus van der Merwe ahead of next season.

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The 27-year-old was a member of the Currie Cup-winning Cheetahs side last year and is on the Springboks’ radar having recently been included in Rassie Erasmus’ 43-player squad for their alignment camp.

Van der Merwe’s future head coach Dwayne Peel has singled the hooker out for his physicality and ball-carrying prowess.

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NORTH vs SOUTH: Rhys Patchell on the differences he’s seen since playing in NZ

Welsh fly-half Rhys Patchell weighs in on the differences between playing for the Scarlets back home and where he is playing now, with the Highlanders in New Zealand

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NORTH vs SOUTH: Rhys Patchell on the differences he’s seen since playing in NZ

Welsh fly-half Rhys Patchell weighs in on the differences between playing for the Scarlets back home and where he is playing now, with the Highlanders in New Zealand

The South African has experience of playing in the northern hemisphere having represented the Cheetahs in the PRO14 before the inception of the United Rugby Championship.

“Scarlets are a club with a proud history and tradition and a passionate fan base and following my conversations with Dwayne it is clear there is a determination and ambition to bring success with some exciting new signings coming into the squad,” van der Merwe said after sealing the move.

“I have had a taste of playing in the northern hemisphere with the Cheetahs and I’m looking forward to this fresh challenge and meeting up with my new team-mates at Parc y Scarlets in the summer.”

Peel added: “We have made no secret that we are looking to strengthen our forward resources and Marnus is a player who has impressed us with his performances for the Cheetahs.

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“He is a strong ball-carrier, his set-piece work is excellent and he is a physical presence around the field.

“The fact he is in the thoughts of the Springbok management shows how highly he is regarded in South Africa and he will add more quality to the pool of front-row forwards we already have at the club. We are excited to see him link up with the squad ahead of next season.”

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