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Veteran Scotland prop Nel to retire

WP Nel made his Scotland debut in 2015 (Anne-Christine POUJOULAT)
WP Nel made his Scotland debut in 2015 (Anne-Christine POUJOULAT)

Scotland and Edinburgh tight-head prop WP Nel will retire at the end of the season, Scottish Rugby announced on Tuesday.

South-Africa-born Nel, who turns 38 next month, played his 61st and final Scotland Test during last year's World Cup.

Nel qualified for Scotland on residency grounds having moved to Edinburgh in 2012 from the Cheetahs.

"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," Nel said.

"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," he added.

Nel was an unused member of Gregor Townsend's Scotland Six Nations squad this year and will miss their mid-year Tests against Canada, the United States, Chile and Uruguay.

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

"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.

"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," he added.

bur-iwd/bsp