Duhan van der Merwe's eligibility for Scotland questioned after hat-trick against England - Ruck

Duhan van der Merwe’s eligibility for Scotland questioned after hat-trick against England

Scotland’s Duhan van der Merwe secured his place in rugby history with a groundbreaking hat-trick in the Calcutta Cup clash against England. Yet, his ambitions soar beyond this milestone.

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Surpassing his teammate Darcy Graham and closing in on Stuart Hogg’s scoring record, van der Merwe reveals his target. “I aimed for it in the Six Nations,” he confesses, emphasizing team success over personal accolades.

Scoring against England holds particular significance for van der Merwe. “It’s obviously very special scoring a hat-trick for Scotland, even more so against England,” he muses, hinting at a personal penchant for facing the English side.

Despite the triumph, van der Merwe remains focused on the team’s future. “We’re getting better with each game we’re playing,” he reflects, underlining the collective journey toward success.

Off the pitch, social media erupted with debate over van der Merwe’s eligibility, harking back to the now-defunct three-year residency rule. Critics question his Scottish identity, prompting discourse on rugby’s evolving regulations.

One fan wrote: “Duhan van der Merwe is f*cking South African, not Scottish. How is he allowed to play for Scotland? Because he has lived in Edinburgh for 3 years!,”

Since van der Merwe’s debut in 2020, the eligibility landscape has shifted. Tightening residency requirements to five years reflects rugby’s commitment to fair play and national representation.

Another fan wrote: “Im sorry but its hilarious how un Scottish Duhan Van der Merwe is,”

A second said: “One thinks Scotland might be trying to pull a fast one with this great Scottish player duhan van der merwe,”

Another commented: “The hilarious thing about Duhan van der Merwe is how ridiculously un-Scottish he is. The name. The accent. And physically, there isn’t a Scottish man that looks like him.”


France (3) – Down by one

Uini Atonio (New Zealand)

Paul Willemse (South Africa)

Émilien Gailleton (England)

Wales (4) – Down by one

Archie Griffin (Australia)

Will Rowlands (England)

George North (England)

Nick Tompkins (England)

England (6) – Up by two

Ethan Roots (New Zealand)

Manu Tuilagi (Samoa)

Sam Underhill (USA)

Marcus Smith (Phillipines)

Marcus Smith of England during the Summer Nations Series Match between England and Wales at Twickenham, London on 12 Aug 2023 (Photo: Tom Sandberg/PPAUK)

Immanuel Feyi-Waboso (Wales)

Tom Roebuck (Scotland)