Edinburgh's Duhan van der Merwe and Richard Cockerill named player and coach of the season

Capital pair voted best player and best coach by their peers for the 2019-20 season

Thursday, 10th September 2020, 4:47 pm
Richard Cockerill and Duhan van der Merwe were voted coach and player of the season in the Guinness Pro14.

Edinburgh’s Duhan van der Merwe and Richard Cockerill have been voted player and coach of the season in the Guinness Pro14 by their peers.

The capital side finished top of Conference B, winning 11 and losing four of their 15 regular season fixtures. But they suffered a surprise defeat at home to Ulster in the play-off semi-final last Saturday night.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Winger Van der Merwe won the Guinness Players’ Player of the Season award as voted for by the captains and vice-captains at each team in the Pro14.

The 25-year-old scored seven tries and set up two and also topped the Opta stats charts for defenders beaten (76), metres made (906) and clean breaks (31).

His average of 5.6 defenders beaten per game set a new record for the Guinness Pro14, breaking his own existing record of 5.3 set in 2017-18. His team-mate Bill Mata earned the accolade last season.

Van der Merwe said: “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.

“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.”

Cockerill, meanwhile, has revitalised Edinburgh over the last three seasons and recently signed a new contract with the club.

Six of his current squad were named in the Guinness Pro14 Dream Team on Wednesday.

The coach said: “I’m a little bit surprised, but I’m happy that it gives everybody recognition at Edinburgh Rugby. We’ve worked hard in the last three years to build what we’re doing and while it’s always nice to be recognised for an individual award, it’s very much a team effort across the club from the coaching staff, medical team, strength and conditioning guys, that have all worked really hard to do what we’re doing.

“We were obviously hugely disappointed not to reach this year’s Guinness Pro14 final, but we’re determined as ever to bounce back and drive the club forward in 2020-21.”

Edinburgh are still involved in Europe and travel to France to take on Bordeaux-Begles in the Challenge Cup quarter-finals next week.

A message from the Editor:

Thank you for reading this story on our website. While I have your attention, I also have an important request to make of you.

With the coronavirus lockdown having a major impact on many of our advertisers - and consequently the revenue we receive - we are more reliant than ever on you taking out a digital subscription.

Subscribe to scotsman.com and enjoy unlimited access to Scottish news and information online and on our app. With a digital subscription, you can read more than 5 articles, see fewer ads, enjoy faster load times, and get access to exclusive newsletters and content. Visit https://www.u2swisshome.com/subscriptions now to sign up.

Our journalism costs money and we rely on advertising, print and digital revenues to help to support them. By supporting us, we are able to support you in providing trusted, fact-checked content for this website.

Joy Yates

Editorial Director

 0 comments

Want to join the conversation? Please or to comment on this article.