Van der Merwe has a fine rugby pedigree and is the son of former Transvaal player, Oupa. He is a silent workhorse, and is fearless on the field – facing any challenge with confidence and skill. Van der Merwe has a very bright future in rugby ahead of him, and made sure the whole of South Africa took note of him when he was selected for the Emerging Springboks in 2007. He went on to make his Springbok debut in November 2007, and was selected for the end of year Springbok tour in 2008, although he was not given the opportunity to play. Van der Merwe had a phenomenal year in 2008 and all eyes will be on him in 2009.