Edinburgh WP Nel confesses that he will retire in Scotland

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EDINBURGH striker WP Nel hinted that before going into coaching, he could end his career at the club.

The 34-year-old striker, who will play his 150th game against Glasgow at Scotstoun in Edinburgh tomorrow night, would like to play beyond the expiry of his new summer deal.

He knows that retirement may not be too far away, but he insists that Scottish rugby, whether as a player or as a coach, still has a lot to give. “Look, I just don’t know if anyone wants to see me anymore,” the Scotland tighthead said when asked if he hopes to get offers for next season from elsewhere or would rather stay in the capital. But where I am, I’m happy, my family is happy, and then we’ll see what the future brings.

“I feel pretty good, but I’d be pretty happy when it comes to retirement, too. I’ve done a lot, but I still feel like I’ve got a lot to offer. So time’s going to say.

I would like to work with the younger generation, and at the moment I’m trying to work with the younger guys in Edinburgh. Before Lockdown, I helped out with Watsonians and now I’m trying to work with the younger guys in Edinburgh – just do a bit here and there and give them a few tips.

For me, the purpose is to give the younger players something back in order to potentially make them better players. If there’s a chance to work with them, I’d love to do it, but I’d want to play for another year as well, so we’re going to see what the next step is for me.

After moving here from South Africa in 2012, Nel, who made 40 appearances for Scotland, admitted it was painful to see less of his family back home last year than would usually be the case. But, while he hopes to visit South Africa more often once the Covid restrictions are over, he said that after he retires, he will certainly remain in this region.

You really miss your extended family: being away from them is not easy. But then Scotland did a lot for me, too, and I fell in love with this place,”You really miss your extended family: it’s not easy being away from them. But then Scotland has also done a lot for me, and I’ve fallen in love with this place,”

“My family is happy, and the kids go to school now. Scotland is all they know, so it will be a family decision. I’m happy either way – although we’ll probably end up staying in Scotland because my wife is very happy here.”

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