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Franco van der Merwe

Franco van der Merwe (born 15 March 1983 in Paarl) is a South African rugby union footballer currently playing for London Irish in the RFU Championship. His regular playing position is lock, although he can also operate as a flanker. Previous clubs include Irish side Ulster in the Pro12, the Lions in Super Rugby and the Leopards and the Golden Lions in the Currie Cup.

Franco van der Merwe
Date of birth (1983-03-15) 15 March 1983 (age 36)
Place of birthPaarl, South Africa
Height1.98 m (6 ft 6 in)
Weight116 kg (18 st 4 lb; 256 lb)
SchoolHartswater High School
UniversityNorth-West University
Rugby union career
Position(s) Lock
Current team London Irish
Youth Career
2002–2004 Leopards
Senior career
Years Team Apps (Points)
2004–2006 Leopards 58 (40)
2006–2014 Golden Lions 104 (50)
2007–2014 Lions 85 (35)
2013Sharks 16 (0)
2014–2017 Ulster 73 (30)
2017– London Irish 0 (0)
Correct as of 31 August 2017
National team(s)
Years Team Apps (Points)
2004 South Africa Under-21 3 (0)
2009 Emerging Springboks 1 (0)
2013 South Africa 1 (0)
Correct as of 24 April 2014

He also joined the Sharks on loan for the 2013 Super Rugby season.[1]

Van der Merwe has been included in several Springbok squads since June 2012 and finally made his debut in the 2013 Rugby Championship match against New Zealand.[2]

He left the Lions to join Irish side Ulster prior to the 2014–15 Pro12 season.[3] He signed a two-year deal starting on 1 August 2014.

Van der Merwe was signed by Pro14 side Cardiff Blues for the 2017 season, however on August 1, 2017 he was released by the club due to club based "financial challenges'.

On 25 August 2017, he was named amongst the starting XV for a pre-season friendly game for London Irish against Richmond on a club trial.[citation needed]. On 31 August it was announced he had been signed by the club.


  1. ^ "Lions to confirm mass exodus". Sport24. 3 October 2012. Retrieved 3 October 2012.
  2. ^ "All Blacks break Springboks' hearts in epic". ESPN. 5 October 2013. Retrieved 24 April 2014.
  3. ^ "Franco replaces Johann at Ulster". Rugby365. 24 April 2014. Retrieved 24 April 2014.

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