Rugby

Scotland and Edinburgh prop WP Nel to hang boots up at end of season

Nel, 37, has racked up 61 international caps and 200 appearances for the capital club.

WP Nel is set to retire at the age of 37
WP Nel in action for Edinburgh WP Nel is set to retire at the age of 37 (Robert Perry/PA)

Scotland and Edinburgh prop WP Nel is set to retire at the end of the season.

Nel, 37, has racked up 61 international caps and 200 appearances for the capital club since arriving from South Africa in 2012.

The experienced tighthead, who qualified for Scotland after three years of residency, was a front-row fixture at three World Cups – 2015, 2019 and 2023.

“To have the opportunity to play for Scotland is something I’m incredibly proud of. The memories in the jersey are unbelievable,” he said.

“When you stand there, singing the anthem, it’s a moment to be proud of, to be part of a team that will represent Scotland.”

Gregor Townsend, the Scotland head coach, hailed the veteran’s contribution to his adopted country.

“WP will rank amongst the best props to play for Scotland, highly respected from coaches and players alike – and he also had a brilliant sense of humour,” he said.

“WP has given a huge amount to Scottish rugby over a number of years.

“He was a joy to coach as every time he took to the training pitch he gave it his all, no matter how much his body was giving him issues.

“We’ll miss his smile, his love of the scrum and some very skilful moments that often lit up our training sessions. We wish him all the best for the rest of the season and in his retirement.”

Nel (centre) has racked up 61 international caps for Scotland
Nel (centre) in Six Nations action last year, Nel (centre) has racked up 61 international caps for Scotland

Edinburgh head coach Sean Everitt joined the chorus of appreciation, adding: “WP has been a tremendous servant to Edinburgh Rugby over more than a decade.

“He’s one of only three double centurions in the club’s 150-year history and has made 61 appearances for the Scotland national team in an incredibly-tough position.

“I know he’ll continue to give everything to the jersey – as he always does – for the remainder of the season.”