Springboks – “There Was No Real Nervousness, So I Could Just Be Edwill” – Edwill van der Merwe


The occasion of running out in the green and gold for the first time was memorable for Van der Merwe, who said: "It was an incredible experience to play my first Test and it was very humbling to earn the man-of-the-match award.

“The way we prepared in the last two weeks gave me a lot of confidence in the systems, and it allowed me to just be myself.”

While such an occasion could come with a fair bit of nerves for most players, Van der Merwe said the experienced players around him kept him at ease since Springbok coach Rassie Erasmus announced the matchday squad on Tuesday.

“There was no real nervousness, so I could just be Edwill,” said the speedster. “The guys around me like Jesse (Kriel) and Makazole (Mapimpi) gave me a lot of confidence by always chatting to me, which made my job easier.”

Capping off the occasion, he was also one of the try-scorers as the Boks scored four tries and were awarded a penalty try, and it was clearly a moment he will never forget.

“I called Grant (Williams) for a ball off his shoulder, and I couldn’t believe it when I went through and crossed the tryline,” said Van der Merwe. “I was overcome with emotion and took a moment to take it all in because it was very special.”