Akker not swapping Sharks jersey
The 26-year-old hooker's contract extension will see him stay at the Durban-based side until 2019.
Van der Merwe made his Super Rugby debut against the Chiefs in Hamilton and scored his first try for the Lions in their next match against the Highlanders in Dunedin in 2014.
Aside from the Lions, Van der Merwe had a short stint with French side Racing 92 in 2016.
He finally joined the Sharks in August 2016, since then the 26-year-old has become a vital part of Robert du Preez's side and was even part of the Sharks' recent Currie Cup campaign.
— The Sharks (@TheSharksZA) December 7, 2017