The plaudits keep on coming for the winger

Former England international Toby Flood has heaped praise on Scotland’s Duhan van der Merwe, comparing the winger to the late, great Jonah Lomu ahead of the fourth round of Six Nations fixtures.

Van der Merwe became the first Scotland player in history to score a hat-trick against England in a 30-21 victory at Murrayfield.

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Gregor Townsend’s side came from behind in the Scottish capital to make it four wins on the bounce in the Calcutta Cup showdown and keep their slim title hopes alive.

Trailing 12-0 after an error-strewn 19 minutes, the Scots finally showed what they are capable of when Huw Jones burst through a hole in the English blitz defence before offloading from the deck for Van der Merwe to weave his way over the line.

While that was a brilliant finish, the best was yet to come. Jones was the provider once again as he gathered the loose ball after George Furbank’s knock-on before Van der Merwe rounded Ben Earl with ease and ran in Scotland’s second try from more than 60 metres.

The South-African born winger then completed an outstanding hat-trick in the second half when he gathered Finn Russell’s pinpoint kick and cruised over the line. It was a performance that rightly received plenty of plaudits and put the 28-year-old within one of Stuart Hogg’s try-scoring record.

Speaking to Lucky Block, Flood said: “Van der Merwe is brilliant. He is developing into a world class wing. He is huge, quick, incredibly powerful and a real physical specimen.

“He has that feel for the game too. He understands the game and knows where to be at the right time. It shows how he has matured and how his relationship with Finn is almost telepathic. That sets him apart now.

“Just like the late Jonah Lomu, he is big, powerful, fast, and almost balletic. The worst people to defend I found were those that were big and could run over you but could also run around you and sidestep you.

“As a defender you would never be quite sure what to do; plant your feet and brace for the impact or they dance around you. If you keep moving they can run over the top of you. He is very destructive.

“I was watching the game at the stadium with Stuart Hogg who was getting quite agitated that his try scoring record for Scotland was coming under threat from Duhan.”

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Scotland will need Van der Merwe to be at his best if they are to come away with a bonus point win when they take on Italy on Saturday and then again when they face the might of Ireland at the Aviva Stadium on the last day of the tournament.

Even then, that might not be enough to land a first-ever Six Nations crown.

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