Duhan van der Merwe admits he can become frustrated by Edinburgh’s attacking game at times – particularly when he’s on the receiving end of a slagging from his brother over try scoring.

The Edinburgh talisman was unable to get on target against Zebre at the weekend despite his side scoring six tries, with only two of those coming from backs through Chris Dean and Ben Vellacott.

A Ewan Ashman double as well as one each from WP Nel and Javan Sebastian made up the rest of the scoring and Van der Merwe was on the fringes of the match for most of the game.

The same couldn’t be said for his brother Akker, who got on the scoresheet again for Bulls against Glasgow Warriors. The hooker has nine tries for the season with only Glasgow’s Johnny Matthews ahead of him in the URC rankings, and he’s let his younger brother know all about it.

The way Sean Everitt’s team play has been a sticking point for critics of Edinburgh with the capital side unable to produce much free-flowing attacking rugby that would benefit the likes of Van der Merwe.

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It has improved over the season and Everitt was clear in his defence of the style his side plays by pointing out the changes he has made since taking over late last summer.

For Van der Merwe though, he admits it has been tough at times but he’s determined to keep doing as well as he can for the team.

He said: “I didn’t get loads (of touches). Sometimes you see the opportunities and I don’t get the ball and I get frustrated but that’s where I need to be the better player and not get frustrated and lose my head because I’m part of team.

“If I see these opportunities I’m going to back myself and call it because I wouldn’t call it if I didn’t think I could score. Sometimes it’s a bit frustrating but it is what it is I guess.

“We had a bit of a deal between myself and Wes Goosen and none of us scored a try at the weekend so that was brilliant.

“Sometimes when you play a team below you you’re trying to get more on ball and get a try but when it’s not your day, it’s not your day and it wasn’t our day. The forwards did a really good job, they were unbelievable and us backs will have to pick it up.”

“I just want to contribute towards the team and do my job. If I get a couple I’m a happy man but I’m not too focused on that, I’m just focused on helping the team out so we can get to a quarter final and hopefully a semi-final and hopefully win the URC.

“I’ve been at the club a very long time and this club can win something and hopefully it’s this season.”

Scotland Rugby News: Sean Everitt

If they reach the play-offs as they hope, Van der Merwe could come up against his older brother with the Bulls.

Akker missed out on the game when the two sides met in Edinburgh back in November when Duhan did get a try, and he’d love to face off against his older brother but he did admit he’s being teased about him scoring more this season.

When asked about the form of the elder of the two brothers, he said: “He’s got more than me. I think he’s sitting second on the URC. It’s all maul, I can do that as well…

“He’s been getting stuck into me saying he’s scored more but I just said potentially a double or a hat-trick and we’re all square again.

“But nah, fair play. It would be absolutely brilliant if we go down there to play against them. Unfortunately I couldn’t play against him when we beat them here so anything can happen in the next couple of weeks and it’s all in our hands.”

Van der Merwe is likely to get the summer off from the Scotland tour to the Americas. He’s played a lot of rugby over the last year and is also expected to be part of the British and Irish Lions tour in 2025.

But while the expectation might be that he is left at home, he made it clear that he wants to be part of the squad heading to play Canada, USA, Chile and Uruguay in July because playing regularly is what makes him improve.

When asked about a summer off, he said: “No. I love playing for Scotland. I feel like by playing more I get better and better. I love the environment and it’s something I want to be a part of. If giving the opportunity I’d love to go. Like I said before, I’ve done my pre-season in the world cup and feel my body is good to go for the next two or three years.

Scotland Rugby News: Hat-trick hero Duhan van der Merwe

“I’ll do another one after that but I’d love to go.

“(The Lions tour) is something I’d love to go on again to be honest. I didn’t have the full experience the first time I went and missed out on that. I’d absolutely love to play for the Lions again in front of our fans and travelling support and have a good night out with the lads.

“I couldn’t experience that but if I can go then I’d be a happy man but my focus is playing well for Edinburgh so I can play for Scotland and if I play well for Scotland then hopefully I can go again.”