Ross Roche
Senior sports writer
2 minute read
2 Dec 2021
4:44 pm

Lions wing Edwill van der Merwe excited to face former team

Ross Roche

Van der Merwe has intimate recent knowledge of the workings of the Stormers, and he will have imparted that wisdom on his new teammates.

Edwill van der Merwe during a Stormers training session, before his move to the Lions. Picture: Gallo Images

In an ironic twist of fate, Lions speedster Edwill van der Merwe is set to face his former team, the Stormers, in his first game for his new side in their United Rugby Championship match at Cape Town City Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

Van der Merwe’s signing for the Lions was announced before the start of the URC, but only went through at the start of November, which saw him feature in three of the Stormers’ four URC tour games.

The exciting wing was then supposed to kick off his Lions career in matches against the Cardiff Blues and Munster, before the new Covid variant saw those games postponed, with the Stormers match then being rescheduled for this weekend.

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“This is my first game for the Lions so I am more focussed on putting in a good performance for my team,” Van der Merwe said.

“Obviously it’s a bit of a weird situation that I was playing for the Stormers and now find myself in a new jersey playing against them, but I am looking forward to the challenge of playing against the Stormers in Cape Town.”

Van der Merwe has intimate recent knowledge of the workings of the Stormers, and he will have imparted that wisdom on his new teammates as they try to pick up what would be their second win of this season’s URC.

“I have helped where I can, but coach Ricardo (Loubscher) has done his own research and has his own plans on how we should play,” Van der Merwe said.

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The Lions have had a solid month of training in the build-up to this game and are fired up for the challenge, and they will be going all out to secure a positive result.

“We are very excited for this weekend’s game. We’ve had a good four weeks to prepare and we are obviously disappointed not to have played last week, but we have shifted our mindsets to the Stormers this weekend and we are looking forward to that,” Van der Merwe said.

The Lions team named for the Stormers clash sees no changes in the starting XV that was named to face the Cardiff Blues last week before the game was postponed.

The bench, however, sees one enforced change, with Ruan Dreyer dropping out of the side due to injury, and Jannie du Plessis making a return to the match-day squad after the tragedy of losing his son in a drowning accident last month.