While neither Edinburgh player will feature for his club against Saracens on Sunday, coach Mike Blair said Watson was in the frame to face the Sharks next weekend. Van der Merwe is currently in South Africa where he is getting married and a decision on whether he will play against the Sharks will be taken in consultation with national coach Gregor Townsend next week. The winger has been troubled by an ankle injury since rejoining Edinburgh from Worcester.
Watson has not played since suffering a concussion against New Zealand in mid-November but Blair confirmed he was close to a comeback. “He’s been training fully with us contact-wise this week and he trained fully last week bar the contact stuff, so he’s definitely nearing a return,” said the Edinburgh coach.
Van der Merwe had arranged his wedding for this weekend while still a Worcester player and Blair hopes he will benefit from some time away in the sun. His ankle will be assessed on his return. “It’s an ongoing discussion – he has to get through his rehab stuff, then have some training with Scotland and we’ll see what the decision is after that.”
Emiliano Boffelli will also miss the Saracens game but Blair is confident the Argentine will return to fitness for the Edinburgh games that take place during the Six Nations. “His groin is getting better but it’s been put back a little bit because he had a bit of a back issue,” said Blair.