Scotland consider calling up South African van der Merwe - Ruck

Scotland consider calling up South African van der Merwe

Scotland boss Gregor Townsend is considering calling up Edinburgh winger Duhan van der Merwe.

The 24-year-old South African is eligible on residence grounds, having joined Edinburgh in 2017. 

“I’ve spoken with Duhan at various points this season and in the last couple of weeks,” Townsend said in a media conference on Zoom.

“We obviously see him as someone who would have been in the mix for summer tour. That is unlikely to go ahead, given that our players haven’t trained for two months and won’t be back in training in the next several days or weeks, but we’ll keep watching how he plays for Edinburgh.

“He’s an excellent player. He’s shown this season a different level of play as well. His work off the ball has been excellent and his defence has been up there as well. He is quick, he’s strong, he makes a lot of line breaks and tackle breaks and he is a young player who will get better the more he plays.

“It is a position where we have competition. Sean Maitland, Blair Kinghorn did very well for us this year. Darcy Graham missed out due to injury, but we’ve got Kyle Steyn and Ratu Tagive and Byron McGuigan. With Tommy Seymour retiring from international rugby, Duhan can certainly be in the mix for our next international.”

LIST | 5 England players who could swap nations for 2023 World Cup

Sir Bill Beaumont has hit back in the World Rugby election race and revealed he wants to create a law change that would allow Manu Tuilagi and other England stars to end their Test career playing for other nations.

The former England captain raised the possibility in his re-election manifesto ahead of next month’s contest with former Argentina scrum-half Agustin Pichot.

In it he promises a review of Regulation 8 which covers eligibility to play for national teams “to see how we can support the longevity of players’ international careers”.

Based on this, we’ve looked at some other current England stars who could head to the 2023 Rugby World Cup to represent other nations.

We’ve not included Billy Vunipola, as we think he is likely to be still in the reckoning for England in three years time.

1. Manu Tuilagi (Samoa)

  • Current number of caps: 41
  • Age at the start of RWC 2023: 32
  • Did you know:  He was named Manusamoa, after the name of the Samoan national team

The England centre, who was born in Fogapoa and came to the UK at the age of 13, is one of a clutch of Pacific Island players whose eligibility status could change if the restrictions are relaxed. He is the younger brother of Freddie, Henry, Alesana, Anitelea and Sanele Vavae Tuilagi, all of whom are Samoan internationals and also played for Leicester. It would be fantastic for the powerhouse to complete the set.