DUHAN VAN DER MERWE’S primary focus this weekend is to help Edinburgh to their third Guinness Pro14 win of the season, when they take on Scarlets at Murrayfield on Saturday evening, but he admits he will be setting his alarm to make sure he is up bright and early to watch his native South Africa take on Wales in the Rugby World Cup semi-finals on Sunday morning.

And with a number of South African players currently plying their trade at Edinburgh, van der Merwe will have plenty of company to watch the game.

“Aye, I believe so,” he said in answer to the question of whether South Africa will get their hands on the Webb Ellis Cup.

“England won’t beat New Zealand, so we are going to have to. A few of us will definitely get together and watch the World Cup semi on Sunday, we’re looking forward to it.”

Edinburgh have made a solid start to the season, winning their first two Guinness Pro14 matches before losing to Leinster in their last outing.

But Van der Merwe is adamant that he and his teammates have put their defeat to the Irish champions behind them and are fully focused on getting back to winning ways when Scarlets visit Murrayfield on Saturday.

“I think we have been playing really well,” he said.

“Our new system and game plan has been working well, we have a great backline and we have to give those boys some time on the ball to show what they are about.

“It was unlucky against Leinster, we didn’t all perform very well, but that is in the past now and we have to forget about it and focus on the Scarlets.”

This is Van der Merwe’s third season at Edinburgh and the winger admits he was thrilled to hear head coach Richard Cockerill say that he was going to encourage his team to play a more expansive brand of rugby.

“It was nice to hear that from the coaches because it is not always nice chasing kicks, but we have so many good players on the wings now like Eroni Sau so it will be good to see them when they get space and the ball in their hands,” he said.

“You always have to adapt because you have to attack where the space is. Some teams attack that space with kicks and some pass it, look at Japan, their wingers have been on fire.”

Edinburgh have had to deal with the challenge of having players missing due to international duty, with their imminent return a significant boost to Van der Merwe and the rest of the squad.

The South African admits he has thoroughly enjoyed watching his fellow winger, Darcy Graham make his World Cup debut, and he has noticed a number of similarities between the Scot and Springbok, Cheslin Kolbe.

“Darcy came on the scene last year and since then he has been amazing. He is so small, boys struggle to tackle him, and he is so young still, as is Blair Kinghorn so they are very good players,” he said.

“Darcy is small like [Kolbe] and people can’t tackle Darcy because he is so quick and has great feet. Even when you do tackle him he is hard to stop because he has good strength.”