WP Nel makes Edinburgh Rugby commitment and end of career prediction

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Edinburgh Rugby fan favourite WP Nel has signed a new one-year deal to extend his stay until the end of next season..

It means tighthead prop, who joined from Cheetahs in 2012, will enter his 12th season at the club, giving him the opportunity to add to his 186 appearances in the capital front row. Nel is currently fifth on the club’s all-time appearance list – behind Allan Jacobsen (273), Chris Paterson (205), Ross Ford (199) and Grant Gilchrist (188) but now has a chance to break into the top two or three.

Still operating at the pinnacle of the sport, the 36-year-old featured in four of Scotland’s recent Six Nations matches and is expected to feature in Rugby World Cup for the third time later this year.

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The one-year extension is expected be Nel’s final season in an impressive career, which has so far seen the tighthead make 345 professional appearances, including 54 caps for Scotland.

WP Nel is pictured at the DAM Health Stadium after signing a one-year contract extension. Picture: Ewan Bootman / SNSWP Nel is pictured at the DAM Health Stadium after signing a one-year contract extension. Picture: Ewan Bootman / SNS
WP Nel is pictured at the DAM Health Stadium after signing a one-year contract extension. Picture: Ewan Bootman / SNS

Nel said: “My body still feels great, which was a massive factor in signing a new deal. I still feel like I can make an impact at the top level, so I want to do continue doing that for another season with a club that has backed me for over a decade of my career.

He added: “Next year will probably be my last in professional rugby. If I can bring success to the team while providing leadership and advice to the younger props in the squad, then I can’t think of a better way to go out.

“Rugby has given me so much in life. I might be one of the older guys but I’m still hugely competitive and know I can be one of the best in my position on any given day. It will be an honour to pull on the Edinburgh jersey for another season.”

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Edinburgh head coach Mike Blair said: “WP is a true Edinburgh legend and someone that inspires the players around him because of his commitment to representing the club and tenacity to be the best in his position. He epitomises what it means to be an Edinburgh man and there’s no doubt he’ll be champing at the bit when the 23/24 season comes around.”