DUHAN VAN DER MERWE will leave Edinburgh during the summer to join English Premiership side Worcester Warriors ahead of next season.
The powerful 25-year-old winger was signed by Edinburgh from Montpellier in 2017, and qualified to play for Scotland through the three-year residency rule during the summer. He made a try-scoring international debut against Georgia in October, and has now crossed the line three times during five appearances so far in the navy blue jersey.
He has score 31 tries in 64 appearances to date for Edinburgh.
“I’m very excited to be joining Worcester Warriors. As a club they play an exciting brand of rugby and that is something I cannot wait to be a part of,” said van der Merwe.
“I’ve loved my time in Edinburgh and It was a really tough decision to leave a club that has helped me develop so much as a player.
“I would like to thank the fans and staff for their great support over the past three years and look forward to giving my all for the rest of this campaign.”
Edinburgh head coach Richard Cockerill has spoken at length about his determination to keep the nucleus of his squad together, despite it being inevitable that there will be interest from south of the border in some of the players who are coming out on contract.
“We’ll be disappointed to see Duhan go – he’s a quality player – however his performances have attracted a lot of attention this season and we’ve had to cut our cloth accordingly to stay competitive across the squad, with good news on that front coming soon,” said Cockerill.
“We’ll wish him all the best at his new club when the time comes but he’s an Edinburgh player for a few more months yet and he’ll be here to help us push up the table in the Guinness PRO14 and continue to compete on the Heineken Champions Cup.”
Van der Merwe will be working under fellow South African and former Edinburgh head coach Alan Solomons at Worcester.
“It is absolutely brilliant news for the club that Duhan has decided to join us here at Sixways,” said Solomons.
“Duhan is an X-factor player, who has now established himself at international level. He is an exceptional talent and, I believe, will have a huge impact on the team.
“He has pace and power and is a world-class finisher. He is a player who puts bums on seats and our fans are certainly in for a treat. He is also a first class bloke and team man and will fit in well here at Sixways. We all look forward to his arrival.”