Los Angeles Giltinis signed D.T.H (Daniel Talliferre Hauman) Van der Merwe for the 2021 Major League Rugby season. The 34-year-old wing/center/fullback (35 in April) is 6’0″ (1.83m) and 203 lbs (92kg).
DTH played with the Miami Sun in the inaugural World Ten Series in Bermuda earlier this month.
DTH was born in Worcester, South Africa, and played rugby since he was five years old. He was selected to the Boland U16s squad and played prior to him and his family emigrating to Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada in 2003.
He attended Dr. Martin LeBoldus High School, played on the Saskatchewan U18s and U21s, and then in the Prairie Fire in the defunct Rugby Canada Super League. He then moved to Victoria and played with James Bay Athletic Association from 2005-2009 in the British Columbia Premier League. The team won three consecutive provincial championships from 2006 through 2008 and won the National Championship in 2007.
DTH then played professionally for the English Premiership Saracens during the 2007-2008 season, making one appearance before an ankle injury sidelined him for 18 months. From 2009-2015 he played with the Glasgow Warriors in the PRO Rugby 12, making 96 appearances and scoring 215 points.
From 2015-2017 he played with the Scarlets in Wales, making 41 appearances and scoring 100 points. Then it was back to the English Premiership with the Newcastle Falcons, playing in three matches and scoring one try. From 2018-2020 he returned to the source of his greatest success, playing 20 more times and scoring 45 points. He is the all-time try scorer for the Warriors with 52 tries in 116 appearances.
DTH has been a Senior National Team stalwart for Canada since making his debut against Barbados at Bridgetown on 24 June 2006. He has 61 caps and 190 points and has played in four Rugby World Cups in 2007, 2011, 2015, and 2019. During the first three of them, he has scored tries. He was hoping for a fourth and came close, but his last test turned out to be against South Africa at Kobe on 8 October 2019. The team was slated to play against Namibia, however, Typhoon Hagibis created havoc for the city of Kamaishi with its rain, wind, and landslides and the match was canceled. Instead, the team helped with the cleanup efforts in the city and DTH retired from international competition.
In 2021 DTH will turn to help a new team, the LA Giltinis, which will be playing their inaugural MLR season.
LA Giltinis Comments
Van der Merwe is excited to be part of MLR’s expansion and the significant role the Giltinis can play in the growth of United States and Canadian rugby.
“It’s a wonderful and rare opportunity to be part of a brand-new franchise where you help set the mottos, the goals, the way the team is run and how high it flies,” van der Merwe said.
“I only see big benefits for Canadian and US rugby because, in the years down the line, kids at school will be looking at the Giltinis and MLR players with the thought, ‘I want to be like them’.
“Personally, I’m really buzzing to play in the sun in a city so fanatical about sports because Los Angeles was the only place I wanted to be being so close to home in Canada.”
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