|Date of Birth:||15 March 1983|
|Place of Birth:||Paarl|
|If there was ever proof that hard work, good manners and a professional attitude will bring success in life, it is Franco van der Merwe. The Golden Lions lock has toiled away without any real reward for many seasons, but has never stopped giving everything for his team. He was rewarded with a call-up to the Springbok squad in June and again in November, and despite never making the Test team, he kept on working hard, giving his all for the team. Van der Merwe is a hard-working lock that is very good in the lineouts, but also not shy of getting his jersey dirty.