Edinburgh’s Duhan Van Der Merwe has taste for victory after suffering tonsillitis
Winger Duhan Van Der Merwe has expressed Edinburgh’s desire to impress their fans when they host Zebre today at BT Murrayfield.
Edinburgh kick-off their PRO14 season with the Italian side’s visit to BT Murrayfield and Van Der Merwe, inset, is hoping to start the campaign with a victory in front of the home crowd.
He said: “It’s our first game and first home game. We obviously want to impress the fans.
“We’ve been working very hard this pre-season. We want to start off with a win and take it from there. But I think our focus now is on Zebre and to get the win because that’s important, we want to start the season well.”
The South African has been struggling with tonsillitis during pre-season but insists he is now fully fit.
“It’s been tough for me. The first four weeks felt good, I got back to full fitness and then I got the tonsillitis.
“That put me back. I knew that I’d have to get the operation. So I got the op about six weeks ago now and after that I’ve been struggling to get fit but I’d say I’m back to full fitness now and I feel good.”
Edinburgh will be without Henry Pyrgos, who was called up to Scotland’s Rugby World Cup squad after scrum-half Ali Price was ruled out for the remainder of the tournament.
Head coach Richard Cockerill insists Edinburgh’s squad is strong enough to cope in Pyrgos’ absense. “Henry’s got a lot of experience, but we’ve got good coverage with Nic Groom, so two very good, experienced scrum-halves.
“It’s not perfect, but you can’t deny Henry the opportunity. He’s a very good player and there’s a very good chance he can add to what Scotland are doing.
“Charlie Shiel will be delighted that Henry’s gone. Charlie’s a good young player and he’ll step up and get his opportunity to be part of the 23.”