Edinburgh Rugby have announced the signing of Scotland international tighthead prop Willem ‘WP’ Nel on a three-year contract extension.
The 30-year-old’s new deal will keep him at the Pro12 club until 2020 and give impending boss Richard Cockerill one less void to fill when he takes over the struggling side this summer.
The South African initially signed for Edinburgh back in 2012. He’s made over 100 appearances for the club and has earned 15 caps for Scotland after qualifying through the residency rule.
Nel was included in Scotland’s Six Nations squad but was forced to miss the entire tournament because of a serious neck injury which required surgery.
He first hurt his neck in the home game against Harlequins in the European Challenge Cup last October. He was told to rest for four weeks but that stretched to two months before his comeback in the return tie with the London side lasted just 25 minutes.
It was diagnosed as a damaged intervertebral disc.
Nel said: “I’m delighted to be staying at Edinburgh for another three years. It’s an awesome club and I’m looking forward to continuing to play here.
“These are exciting times for everyone involved and I feel that everything is moving in the right direction. It’s been great to see a lot of young talent coming through this season and hopefully I can help with their development in the coming years.
“The city, Edinburgh Rugby and its supporters are very close to my heart, and that was a huge factor in our decision to stay.”
Acting head coach Duncan Hodge said: “WP is a huge acquisition for the club and Scottish Rugby. It’s fantastic that he has decided to commit his future.
“To have a world-class player in a specialised position remaining at the club is a monumental boost to the squad.”