Akker van der Merwe
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Hooker Akker van der Merwe joined Sale Sharks in 2019 from the Cell C Sharks, in Durban, South Africa.
Nicknamed the Raging Warthog for his raw power and determination, Akker burst onto the rugby scene in 2014 as a surprise addition to the Golden Lions touring squad for the Super Rugby Season.
He scored his first try within a week against the Highlanders in Dunedin and his career took off from there.
After making 50 top flight appearances for the Lions, Akker joined the Durban-based Sharks, helping his new side to a Currie Cup final in his first year.
Akker, whose brother Duhan was part of the British and Irish Lions squad in 2021, earned his first call up for the Springboks for the June 2018 internationals and went on to make three appearances for his country.
When he joined Sale Sharks, he said the time was right in his career to move away from South Africa, as he had just started a family.
He spoke to South Africa teammate Faf de Klerk before his move and said how he “has only good things to say about Sale.”
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