Duhan van der Merwe to quit Edinburgh for Worcester Warriors at end of season

Winger qualified to play for Scotland through the three-year residency rule last summer

Duhan van der Merwe will leave Edinburgh in the summer to join Worcester Warriors next season. Image: ©Craig Watson
Duhan van der Merwe will leave Edinburgh in the summer to join Worcester Warriors next season. Image: ©Craig Watson

DUHAN VAN DER MERWE will leave Edinburgh during the summer to join English Premiership side Worcester Warriors ahead of next season. 

The powerful 25-year-old winger was signed by Edinburgh from Montpellier in 2017, and qualified to play for Scotland through the three-year residency rule during the summer. He made a try-scoring international debut against Georgia in October, and has now crossed the line three times during five appearances so far in the navy blue jersey.

He has score 31 tries in 64 appearances to date for Edinburgh.


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“I’m  very excited to be joining Worcester Warriors. As a club they play an exciting brand of rugby and that is something I cannot wait to be a part of,” said van der Merwe.

“I’ve loved my time in Edinburgh and It was a really tough decision to leave a club that has helped me develop so much as a player.

“I would like to thank the fans and staff for their great support over the past three years and look forward to giving my all for the rest of this campaign.”

Edinburgh head coach Richard Cockerill has spoken at length about his determination to keep the nucleus of his squad together, despite it being inevitable that there will be interest from south of the border in some of the players who are coming out on contract.

“We’ll be disappointed to see Duhan go – he’s a quality player – however his performances have attracted a lot of attention this season and we’ve had to cut our cloth accordingly to stay competitive across the squad, with good news on that front coming soon,” said Cockerill.

“We’ll wish him all the best at his new club when the time comes but he’s an Edinburgh player for a few more months yet and he’ll be here to help us push up the table in the Guinness PRO14 and continue to compete on the Heineken Champions Cup.”

Van der Merwe will be working under fellow South African and former Edinburgh head coach Alan Solomons at Worcester.

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

“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.”


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About David Barnes 3956 Articles
David has worked as a freelance rugby journalist since 2004 covering every level of the game in Scotland for publications including he Herald/Sunday Herald, The Sunday Times, The Telegraph, The Scotsman/Scotland on Sunday/Evening News, The Daily Record, The Daily Mail/Mail on Sunday and The Sun.

11 Comments

  1. Surely Scotland really do not need to be capping someone ,after may, who stays for a minimum period and then leaves his country of ( very) temporary residence.
    What dispiriting news, particularly for some aspiring youngster who has been here on a much longer term basis or even since birth.
    I appreciate there will be capped players who have one Scottish grandparent and who, themselves, have rarely set foot in the country before being capped.
    However,seriously, is there greater merit for the game’s future in capping a chap who has no scots heritage and who lives here for 4 of his 25 years , or in capping a scotsman of less star quality but who really is invested long term in the nation’s rugby future?
    Good luck to the chap, he has his caps and a big money move but perhaps we should consider whether there is merit ,for the country’s game, in selecting him in the future ahead of other more permanent scots.
    I was pleased he when played for Edinburgh and Scotland.
    but for me once he has left what benefit to scottish rugby is there in continuing to cap him?
    I am unconvinced, though i appreciate that he is perfectly entitled to be selected and is a fellow scotsman under the rules,and there are of course 2 sides to the argument.
    They’re all Scotland’s story and they’re all worth the same…sang the Proclaimers and they are of course 100% right.

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  2. It sounds like a big loss for Edinburgh but, in reality, will we even notice?

    Duhan does not register in the Pro 14 top 100 players for metres gained, clean breaks or number of carries. The only category he bothers the top 100 in is defenders beaten, where he is 68th with 7. (Putting that in context, Darcy Graham who is not having a stellar season is 14th with 13 defenders beaten.)

    It seems obvious that Edinburgh is not using him well and the opposition are not kicking to his wing by and large. He is not going to develop as a player in this context and both he and Scotland need him to move on.

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  3. They (SRU/ Duhan) used each other, and today’s lockdown shows how sport can be a short career with opportunities to maximise your money at a premium. He should strike while the iron is hot.

    Also, Edinburgh sounds like a pretty unhappy place to play at the moment, so I don’t blame him for clearing off if that’s the case.

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    • This is the future of Scottish Rugby folks. And it’s how the SRU see themselves remaining in the top 10. Bring in players just missing out from South Africa, New Zealand and England, have them serve their residency, then proudly represent themselves as Scotsmen while immediately leaving for the big bucks once qualified.

      By 2030 i suspect 50% of the national team to be representing us through residency. A cheaper, lazy option to promoting youth talent from our own country and building strong systems academies etc etc.

      Damn it sure is a golden age to be a Scottish Rugby supporter, all i can hope is Dodson and Townsend are still leading us by 2030.

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  4. I think players who quaify for Scotland through residency should lose that qualification if they leave the country.

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  5. Todays lockdown announcements will no doubt dent the hopes of getting paying punters through the turnstiles at pro and international games.

    As a result, further player losses to be expected as cost-cutting measures kicks in.

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  6. A really big loss for Edinburgh. Pre-covid they were really looking like a team on the up. But Worcester Warriors? No disrespect but couldn’t he have done better? He’ll never get neat a Champions cup or English premiership title.Who else is out of contract this summer?

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  7. Big loss to Edinburgh.

    Can’t blame the guy. It’s a short career which can be stopped in an instant. Cash talks.

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  8. You have to admire how they try to inject a positive spin on a player deciding enough of a value-enhancing capped stay in toytown is quite enough.

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