Glasgow Warriors: DTH van der Merwe "fully believes" team can challenge for Pro14 title

By Thomas DuncanBBC Scotland
Glasgow Warriors winger DTH van der Merwe
Winger DTH van der Merwe is Glasgow Warriors' all-time leading scorer

DTH van der Merwe has set his sights on a third league title in four years, saying he "fully believes" Glasgow Warriors can challenge for the trophy.

The 31-year-old winger joined Glasgow for a second time last week from Newcastle Falcons.

The Canada international won the Pro12 with Glasgow in 2015 and the Scarlets in 2017, scoring in both finals.

"You have to say you want to win to get there. You have to believe it [and] say it out loud," Van der Merwe said.

"I fully believe this side has the quality of players and the coaching staff behind it that can direct us in the right direction - which would definitely be a title fight."

Glasgow Warriors winger DTH van der Merwe
Van der Merwe won the Pro12 title with Glasgow Warriors in 2015

Van der Merwe is Warriors' all-time leading try scorer, touching down 43 times in 96 appearances between 2009 and 2015.

He is the third player in the last year to return for another spell at the Scotstoun club, after full-back Ruaridh Jackson and Niko Matawalu re-joined in the summer.

"If the club does ask you to come back, it obviously speaks volumes about yourself that they do respect you and they want you," the South African-born winger said.

"But it also speaks volumes about the club that people want to return. They see that there's something good going on here, they're building a good team environment, a family environment and that's what ultimately everyone wants to be involved with."

Van der Merwe made just three first-team appearances for Newcastle after joining in the summer, the last of which was in October. But he insists he's fit and ready to go straight into the side against Zebre on Friday.

DTH van der Merwe scores for Scarlets against Munster
Van der Merwe scored as Scarlets beat Munster in 2017 to win the Pro12 title

"For me personally, it takes about two or three weeks and you're back in it," he said.

"But you can do all the running and biking and off-the-field fitness that you want, but nothing correlates to game fitness, and you have to play games to get that game fitness going.

"I've watched [Glasgow this season] and it's all high-tempo games, training is high tempo. I'm fully fit, ready to go.

"That's the rugby I learned to play from a young age with Glasgow and they're still playing it and they've improved it.

"Playing on this [artificial pitch], it's really fast, it's my type of game, I enjoy it. Now hopefully I'll get to finish off some of that high-tempo game."

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