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Flip van der Merwe

Phillip Rudolph van der Merwe (born 3 June 1985 in Potchefstroom) is a South African rugby union rugby player who plays in the lock position for French Top 14 side Clermont.

Flip van der Merwe
Full namePhillip Rudolph van der Merwe
Date of birth (1985-06-03) 3 June 1985 (age 34)
Place of birthPotchefstroom, South Africa
Height1.98 m (6 ft 6 in)
Weight126 kg (19 st 12 lb; 278 lb)
SchoolGrey College, Bloemfontein
UniversityUniversity of the Free State
Notable relative(s)Flippie van der Merwe (father), François van der Merwe (brother)
Rugby union career
Position(s) Lock
Current team Clermont
Youth Career
2004–2006 Free State Cheetahs
Senior career
Years Team Apps (Points)
2006–2009 Free State Cheetahs 36 (10)
2007–2009 Cheetahs 6 (5)
2007Griffons 1 (0)
2009–2012 Blue Bulls 39 (20)
2010–2015 Bulls 75 (10)
2015–present Clermont 28 (5)
Correct as of 23 June 2015
National team(s)
Years Team Apps (Points)
2004 South Africa Under-19
2010–present South Africa 36 (5)
Correct as of 25 July 2015


Free State Cheetahs / CheetahsEdit

Van der Merwe attended Grey College in Bloemfontein before joining the Bloemfontein-based provincial side the Free State Cheetahs. He made his first class debut for them in the 2006 Vodacom Cup – eventually starting eleven matches and playing off the bench on two occasions – and also made his Currie Cup debut in the second half of 2006, three times appearing as a replacement during the competition.

In 2007, he got his first taste of Super Rugby, starting two matches for the Cheetahs during the 2007 Super 14 season. He made five appearances in the 2007 Vodacom Cup, but his only Currie Cup involvement in 2007 came in one match on loan at the Griffons.

He made three appearances for the Cheetahs during the 2008 Super 14 season and also scored his first try in Super Rugby. He played a bigger part in their Currie Cup campaign in 2008, making seven appearances.

Blue Bulls / BullsEdit

In 2009, Van der Merwe moved to Pretoria to join the Blue Bulls. He immediately established himself as a first-choice player for them, making eleven starts and two substitute appearances in the 2009 Currie Cup Premier Division. He also featured for the Bulls in the 2010 Super 14 season before being called up to the South African national team for the first time.

He became an important part of the Bulls side over the next few years, making 75 appearances for the side in Super Rugby competitions between 2010 and 2015. He also featured in 39 first class matches for the Blue Bulls between 2009 and 2012, with national team call-ups and injury preventing him from playing for them in 2013 and 2014.


Shortly before the 2015 Super Rugby season, the Bulls announced that Van der Merwe would leave after the 2015 Currie Cup Premier Division to take up a contract with French Top 14 side Clermont.[1] He was later given an early release from his contract and made the move to Clermont during the Currie Cup campaign.[2]

Representative rugbyEdit

On 12 June 2010, he played his first test for the South African national team, the Springboks, against France. He missed out on selection to the 2011 Rugby World Cup, but established himself as a regular for the team over the next few years, appearing in 36 test matches prior to his move to Clermont in 2015.


His father Flippie was also a rugby player, making six appearances for South Africa between 1981 and 1989.

External linksEdit

  • "SA Rugby Player Profile – Flip van der Merwe". South African Rugby Union. Retrieved 30 May 2016.
  • Flip van der Merwe at Springbok Rugby Hall of Fame
  • Flip van der Merwe at
  • Flip van der Merwe at
  • Flip van der Merwe at


  1. ^ "Van der Merwe, Du Plessis off to France" (Press release). Bulls. 6 February 2015. Archived from the original on 6 February 2015. Retrieved 6 February 2015.
  2. ^ "Flip heads for France". SuperSport. 2 September 2015. Retrieved 2 September 2015.