Springboks alignment squad call-up makes northern hemisphere move

Adam Kyriacou
Marnus van der Merwe in action for the Cheetahs.

Marnus van der Merwe in action for the Cheetahs.

Recent Springboks alignment camp call-up, Marnus van der Merwe, has signed a contract with United Rugby Championship outfit the Scarlets ahead of next season.

The Cheetahs hooker, who weighs 115kg, has been receiving rave reviews in South Africa and was recently included in Rassie Erasmus’ 43-man squad announcement.

An abrasive ball carrier, Van der Merwe has been in fine form for the Cheetahs in the European Challenge Cup and Currie Cup and has caught the attention of the Scarlets.

Strong ball carrier

His arrival ahead of next season is another impressive addition to the squad as the Welsh region, who are 14th in the URC, continue to rebuild for the coming campaigns.

“We have made no secret that we are looking to strengthen our forward resources and Marnus is a player who has impressed us with his performances for the Cheetahs,” said head coach Dwayne Peel.

“He is a strong ball-carrier, his set-piece work is excellent and he is a physical presence around the field.

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“The fact he is in the thoughts of the Springbok management shows how highly he is regarded in South Africa and he will add more quality to the pool of front-row forwards we already have at the club.

“We are excited to see him link up with the squad ahead of next season.”

Having come through the Cheetahs academy, the all-action Van der Merwe made his PRO14 debut in 2018 and was a member of the Currie Cup-winning side of 2023.

Fresh challenge

He said: “Scarlets are a club with a proud history and tradition and a passionate fan base and following my conversations with Dwayne it is clear there is a determination and ambition to bring success with some exciting new signings coming into the squad.

“I have had a taste of playing in the northern hemisphere with the Cheetahs and I’m looking forward to this fresh challenge and meeting up with my new team-mates at Parc y Scarlets in the summer.”

Scarlets added that more signing news is set to be revealed over the coming weeks.

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