The selection that many were anticipating, van der Merwe became available to Scotland on residency grounds having spent three years with Edinburgh since moving from Montpellier in the summer of 2017.
A hulking strike runner, van der Merwe was part of the South Africa squad that finished runners-up at the 2014 Junior World Championship alongside now World champions Handre Pollard and Jesse Kriel.
He averaged a try every other game for Edinburgh and was named PRO14 Players’ Player of the Season for the 2019/20 campaign. He made a try-scoring Scotland debut in the home win against Georgia in October 2020 before notching in both Florence and Dublin, and scored the only try of the game in Scotland’s 2021 Calcutta Cup victory against England at Twickenham.
Van der Merwe’s blistering form brought about a 2021 British & Irish Lions call-up, during which he had the distinction of starting in all three Test matches.
Date of birth: 04/06/1995
Scotland Debut: 24/10/2020
Place of birth: George