Scotland international WP Nel announces retirement from rugby

The Edinburgh forward is calling time on his playing career.

Scotland international WP Nel announces retirement from rugby SNS Group

Scotland and Edinburgh forward WP Nel has announced that he is to retire from rugby at the end of the season.

The tighthead prop is to draw a line under a career that saw him play for Scotland 61 times, including at three World Cups.

Nel signed for Edinburgh in 2012 and recently made his 200th appearance for the club. His international career began in 2015 and he made his final appearance in dark blue against Ireland in last year’s World Cup.

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

“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.”

“My family was the forefront of everything. To have them in the stands, it makes you stronger, it lifts you, you want to perform for them, so it’s always been brilliant to have them there.”

Scotland head coach Gregor Townsend said Nel would be regarded as one of the nation’s best ever players in his position and that he had been “a joy” to work with.

“WP has given a huge amount to Scottish rugby over a number of years,” Townsend said.

“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. 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.

“I know how much playing for Scotland has meant to him and his family, and we are so grateful for everything he has done in the shirt.”

“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.”

Edinburgh head coach Sean Everitt said: “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.”

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