Edwill, Ben-Jason’s Springbok dreams become reality

Legendary Maties rugby player Edwill van der Merwe will make his Springbok debut this coming weekend against Wales at Twickenham.

Edwill played 37 Varsity Cup matches for Maties and still holds the record for the most tries—23—in this series. He was a key player in the teams that won the trophy in 2018 and 2019. He represented Maties from 2016 to 2019.

“I am so grateful for the opportunity to play for the Springboks. It’s something I’ve dreamed of since I was a child,” says Edwill, the 55th Springbok from Paul Roos Gymnasium.

“I’m a bit nervous but also very excited. My dreams are finally a reality. I look forward to the opportunity and will seize it with both hands. I’m also looking forward to playing at Twickenham.”

Edwill (28) was a learner at Eikestad Primary, and his parents still live in Kylemore, where he grew up.

Edwill is one of three Maties realising their Bok dreams this Saturday.

Jordan Hendrikse (flyhalf) and Edwill are Springboks number 184 and 185 for Maties. Hendrikse (22) played four matches for the Maties Young Guns in 2020. The 26-year-old Ben-Jason Dixon, captain of the Varsity Cup team in 2020, will be the club’s 186th Bok when he takes to the field as a replacement. Ben-Jason (loose-forward) is PRG’s 56th Springbok.

“We at Maties Rugby are proud of Edwill, Ben-Jason, and Jordan. Their inclusion in the team is well-deserved,” says Drikus Hancke, Director of Maties Rugby.

“Edwill and Ben-Jason had a lasting impact on the club, not only through their play on the field but also for people they are off the field. Both are great examples of what it means to be student-athletes. They are individuals with degrees who play rugby at the highest level. Edwill and Ben-Jason are examples of Maties and other universities paving the way for young people who want to earn degrees and pursue careers in sports.”

Edwill, Ben-Jason, and Jordan have played for the Junior Springboks.

The other Maties in the extended Springbok squad include Grant Williams (scrumhalf), Neethling Fouché (prop), and André-Hugo Venter (hooker).