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VIDEO: No Bok invite inspires Lions speedster

VIDEO: Lions wing Edwill van der Merwe has been tearing up the fields with sterling tries, but the Springbok invite still eludes him.

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The wing has the physical attributes and speed that make him a formidable force and in March the 28-year-old became the first South African-based player to hit 20 United Rugby Championship tries.

Van der Merwe’s rugby journey began during his schooling years at Paul Roos Gymnasium, a place known for producing top rugby talent.

But does he have the full package that Springbok coach Rassie Erasmus is looking for?

Apparently, the speedster has had no communication from the Springboks at all while his fellow backs Quan Horn, Jordan Hendrikse, Sanele Nohamba, Henco van Wyk and Morne van den Berg have all attended the Bok alignment camps.

But he remains resilient and focused on his journey with the Lions, a team he joined from the Stormers in 2021.

“I’ve had no communication with them [Springboks] so really not sure about any of that. So for me, it’s just about focusing on the Lions and doing my best for the team,” Van der Merwe told a media briefing on Tuesday.

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“Whatever happens, happens, it’s not really in my hands.

“I always say do your best and God will do the rest.”

Van der Merwe has embraced his new home in the City of Gold and the red and white colours of the Lions.

“I am enjoying my time in Johannesburg, it’s quite a special place.”

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Speaking about the big challenge ahead this weekend against Glasgow Warriors and the Lions’ fight to clinch a top-eight spot, Van der Merwe said the team needed to start from scratch again.

“We are fighting for a playoff spot and last week’s result put us in a good place. But this week is a new challenge that we have to face from zero-zero again, giving our best and fighting for that top eight spot” he said.

“If you look at the kind of tries we score it’s off what we call ‘java opportunities’, where opponents make mistakes, and it’s something we really work on finishing those opportunities.

“This last weekend we lost some balls in the opposition 22 but that is something we are looking to rectify and score even more tries.

“The style we play, moving the ball around, that is something that I really enjoy.

“I’m looking forward to this weekend and getting the ball in my hands.

“When we do create opportunities because we do create a lot of linebreaks, sometimes we don’t always finish or the last pass doesn’t stick.

“It’s basically having that patience when you have linebreaks and exciting plays to create something out of nothing.”

 

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