WP Nel pens new Edinburgh deal and reveals his coaching ambitions

WP Nel has been with Edinburgh since 2012.WP Nel has been with Edinburgh since 2012.
WP Nel has been with Edinburgh since 2012.
Long-serving Edinburgh Rugby prop WP Nel has signed a contract extension with the club – and has admitted that he now has one eye on a coaching career.

The Scotland internationalist, who joined the BT Murrayfield outfit in 2012, will be with the club until at least the summer of 2022 after agreeing his new contract.

Nel joined Edinburgh from the Cheetahs and made his Scotland debut three years later, starring in several Six Nations campaigns and two World Cups.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

The 34-year-old has played more than 150 times for Edinburgh and has won 42 caps for Scotland. The South Africa-born tighthead has made Scotland his home, settled in the Capital with his wife and four children, and will embark on a tenth consecutive season with the club.

Nel said: “Edinburgh is such a special place and club for me. My family and I are well settled in this beautiful city we now call home.

“Honestly, I didn’t think I would still be here after all these years and still playing at 34.

“But I can’t complain about the way I’m playing at the moment. It’s still a huge honour to be selected for both Edinburgh and Scotland.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“To reach 150 games for the club earlier this season was really special for me and to join guys like Fordy [Ross Ford], Gilcho [Grant Gilchrist] and Stu [McInally] in that group was awesome.

“Coaching is something I would like to explore further in this next two years.

“I already like to work with the younger players at the club. I feel like I can help them improve as players and hopefully I can help them go and represent Scotland.

“We have a lot of exciting and young forwards at the club and there are exciting times ahead with our new stadium.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“I think it going to be special for us as a club to move into our new home. We can now have our own identity and build on it.”

Edinburgh head coach Richard Cockerill could not hide his delight at securing Nel for another season.

“WP is a club legend and we’re delighted he’ll pull on the jersey for his tenth season at Edinburgh Rugby,” Cockerill told the Edinburgh website.

“He continues to be a pivotal member of the squad and you only had to see his performance at Parc y Scarlets earlier this season, or from the bench against Wales on Saturday, to see that he’s still a special player.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“WP has played a lot of games for this club and his contributions throughout a near-decade of rugby in Edinburgh should be recognised and celebrated.

“He is and will continue to be a real role model for the next generation of Edinburgh Rugby props.”

A message from the Editor: Thank you for reading this article. We're more reliant on your support than ever as the shift in consumer habits brought about by Coronavirus impacts our advertisers. If you haven't already, please consider supporting our trusted, fact-checked journalism by taking out a digital subscription.