Wed 23 Jun 2021 | 06:12

Duhan will be a 'handful' for Boks

Duhan will be a 'handful' for Boks
Wed 23 Jun 2021 | 06:12
Duhan will be a 'handful' for Boks
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SPOTLIGHT: Springbok assistant coach Deon Davids says Duhan van der Merwe will be a “handful” during the British and Irish Lions series.

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The South African-born Scotland star will make his first appearance in the famous red jersey against Japan at Murrayfield Stadium on Saturday.

Van der Merwe earned his place in Warren Gatland’s squad after an impressive 2021 Six Nations campaign for Scotland. He was the tournament’s leading try-scorer with five tries.

The 26-year-old, who will be joining English club Worcester Warriors ahead of the new season, was one of the Pro14’s best players over the last few seasons when he played for Edinburgh.

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“Duhan van Der Merwe has been a quality player since his George days with Warrick Gelant at Outeniqua High School.

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“They were an excellent team and I had the privilege of watching them play at school and then watching their progress into the SA Schools team.

“He was a great prospect for us going forward, but unfortunately a couple of injuries became stumbling blocks in his progress.

“At the end of the day, it is good to see that he overcame all of these obstacles. He had standout performances in the past few years for his club Edinburgh and also for Scotland.

“I think he deserves his place in the Lions squad. He is a big strong wing, and he has that exceptional ability to finish.

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“He will be a handful and we are looking forward to having him on South African turf playing against us.”

A solid foundation

Meanwhile, with two Tests against Georgia to look forward to before the Lions Series, Davids was pleased with the progress being made at the Boks’ conditioning camp in Bloemfontein in the last two and half weeks and said the matches at Loftus Versfeld on Friday, July 2, and Ellis Park on July 9, would lay a solid the foundation for the team.

“The last few weeks have been important to lay the foundation in terms of what we want to achieve and to formulate the strategy we want to apply in the Georgia games as we progress into the Lions Series.

“We’ve been working very hard and the players have responded well on and off the field.

“We have tested different combinations and assessed the different areas of the game, and we have a good understanding of what we want to do against Georgia. By Sunday and Monday, we will have a good idea of how we want to approach the next two games.

“The players cannot wait to take the field against Georgia.”

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