Edwill van der Merwe carrying the dreams of his community on Bok debut

Edwill van der Merwe carrying the dreams of his community on Bok debut

Winger Edwill van der Merwe is all too aware of the responsibility of pulling on the Springbok jersey this weekend.

The latest in South Africa's production line of scrum-capped wingers, van der Merwe has been handed a Bok debut this weekend against Wales at Twickenham in London.

Van der Merwe was prolific on the wing for Maties in the Varsity Cup, helping them to two titles in 2018 and 2019. His exploits earned him a Stormers contract shortly after, but it's at the resurgent Lions where van der Merwe has truly flourished. The Johannesburg franchise's attacking gameplan has played right into the rapid outside back's hands.

Speaking to the media ahead of his Springbok debut, the Lions star has not forgotten his roots.

"I come from a very small town outside Stellenbosch called Kylemore," said the 28-year-old.

"You've seen it on Chasing the Sun, where Herschel [Jantjies] comes from. It's a very small town, but very proud people. People who love rugby.

"Since last week - when I got the call to the first training camp - everyone has been sending messages. The primary school even made little posters for me.

"So I don't just carry my own dream with me, but the people of my community. So I'm looking forward to the opportunity to play for South Africa. It's something that I've dreamed about since I was a little boy. A bit of nervousness, but more excitement. I can finally make my dreams become reality.

"I'm looking forward to the occasion of playing at Twickenham. It will be a great experience there are lots of fans there!"

The World Champions feature an exciting back-three against Wales, with veteran Makazole Mapimpi on the other wing, while flyer Aphelele Fassi starts at fullback.  

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