South African prop Nel is on radar for Edinburgh

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EDINBURGH RUGBY are among clubs being linked today with a move for an uncapped prop forward from South Africa.

Free State Cheetahs heavyweight WP Nel is understood to be keen to qualify for Scotland’s international team, according to South African media.

The Afrikaaner newspaper Volksblad is reporting that Nel is so highly regarded a Scottish outfit are prepared to wait until his present contract expires next year to sign him.

Volksblad says that Nel’s agent played a straight bat when asked whether Nel would be joining Edinburgh – or Glasgow.

At 25, Nel, who weighs 120kg, still has his best rugby ahead but Edinburgh seem well covered with internationalist Geoff Cross recently signing a new contract along with up-and-coming tight head prop Lewis Niven.

However, Nel is sufficiently skilled to have represented the Barbarians against New Zealand at Twickenham in 2009 although he is currently recovering from a shoulder injury and won’t play for the Cheetahs in their opening build-up match for the latest Super 15 competition. Meanwhile, Edinburgh pair Greig Laidlaw and Lee Jones have seen prospects of a Six Nations start improve after Ruairidh Jackson and Simon Danielli, rivals at stand off and wing, were ruled out.

n EDINBURGH will play their Heineken European Cup quarter-final with Toulouse at Murrayfield on Saturday April 7 (3pm).