SA's Van der Merwe is PRO14's Players' Player of the year

Duhan van der Merwe (Photo by Ian Rutherford/PA Images via Getty Images)
Duhan van der Merwe (Photo by Ian Rutherford/PA Images via Getty Images)

South African-born Duhan van der Merwe has been honoured with the prestigious PRO14 Players’ player of the year award for the 2019/20 season.

Van der Merwe – the brother of Springbok hooker Akker – has been a sensation for Edinburgh in the PRO14, and tops several of their stats after a disrupted season.

The 25-year-old has impressed all season topping out the Opta stats charts for Defenders Beaten (76), Metres Made (906) and Clean Breaks (31) while scoring seven tries and setting up two.

Additionally, Van der Merwe’s average of 5.6 Defenders Beaten per game set a new record for the PRO14 as he broke his own existing record of 5.3 that he set in 2017/18. Van der Merwe also ensures the award stays in the Scottish capital with team-mate Bill Mata earning the accolade last season.

"I feel hugely privileged to win this award. Never in my wildest dreams did I believe that I could achieve something this big and it’s a brilliant feeling knowing that it was voted by the guys I face in the Guinness PRO14 week in, week out,” Van der Merwe said.

"Getting an award like this is massive for me and hopefully highlights that the hard work I’ve put in throughout my career is starting to pay off. I genuinely couldn’t have won this without the help of everyone at Edinburgh Rugby and I can’t wait to push the club further next season."

Van der Merwe has set his sights on playing for Scotland.

His coach Richard Cockerill has been named the coach of the year.

PRO14 2020 Winners:

Players’ Player of the Season: Duhan van der Merwe |Edinburgh

PRO14 Coach of the Season: Richard Cockerill | Edinburgh

Next-Gen Star of the Season: Caelan Doris | Leinster

Gilbert Golden Boot: JJ Hanrahan | Munster

Ronseal Tackle Machine: Paul Boyle | Connacht

Big Red Cloud Turnover King: Josh MacLeod | Scarlets

PRO14 Top Try-scorer: Rhyno Smith | Cheetahs

PRO14 Ironman: Matthew Screech | Dragons

PRO14 Dream Team

15 Blair Kinghorn (Edinburgh Rugby), 14 Monty Ioane (Benetton Rugby), 13 Rey Lee-Lo (Cardiff Blues), 12 Stuart McCloskey (Ulster), 11 Duhan van der Merwe (Edinburgh), 10 Jaco van der Walt (Edinburgh), 9 John Cooney (Ulster), 8 Bill Mata (Edinburgh), 7 Will Connors (Leinster), 6 Max Deegan (Leinster), 5 Grant Gilchrist (Edinburgh), 4 Scott Fardy (Leinster), 3 Leon Brown (Dragons), 2 Joseph Dweba (Cheetahs), 1 Pierre Schoeman (Edinburgh)

- PRO14 media

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