Nel to become double-centurion in Cape Town

Nel to become double-centurion in Cape Town

WP Nel will become only the third player to hit 200 appearances for Edinburgh Rugby when the capital side face DHL Stormers at DHL Stadium tomorrow evening (Saturday 23 March, kick-off 3.05pm GMT/ 5.05pm local) – live on Viaplay.

Scotland internationalist Nel, 37, will fittingly enter the 200 club in Cape Town where his professional rugby career started at Western Province 16 years ago.

Having been a mainstay in the capital pack since arriving in Edinburgh in 2012, the tighthead prop now joins club legends Alan Jacobsen [273 appearances] and Chris Paterson [205] in an exclusive group of Edinburgh players.

Head Coach Sean Everitt said: “We’re delighted to see WP hit 200 appearances for the club. He’s an Edinburgh legend and it’ll be an extremely proud moment for him and his family when he takes to the pitch at DHL Stadium tomorrow evening.

“This team doesn’t need any added motivation, but I’ve got no doubt they’ll be playing with a bit of extra fire to make it a special day for WP.”

Scotland duo Sam Skinner (lock) and Ben Healy (stand-off) both start in the South African capital, fresh from Guinness Six Nations action.

Everitt is also able to welcome Jamie Hodgson back from injury, with the Scotland lock featuring for the first time since December.

Ben Muncaster – who made his return from injury against Ospreys in Round 11 – makes his first start of the season at blindside flanker, while academy graduate Jake Henry, 23, makes his professional debut on the wing.

Henry – who came through the ranks at Highland Rugby Club – has featured for Southern Knights and Heriot’s Rugby in the FOSROC Super Series and returns to South Africa where he was placed on the prestigious Macphail Scholarship in 2019.

Everitt continued: “It’s brilliant to welcome back experienced, quality players like Sam [Skinner] and Ben [Healy] who are both real leaders for us on the park.

“We’re also very excited to see Jake [Henry] make his professional debut for the club. He has worked extremely hard to get back from injury and he really does deserve this opportunity.

“The boys have worked tirelessly since arriving in Cape Town at the start of the week and we’re raring to go for what is always a massive challenge at DHL Stadium.”

Argentine internationalist Emiliano Boffelli starts at full-back alongside wingers Wes Goosen and debutant Henry.

Centres Matt Currie and Mark Bennett combine in the capital midfield, with scrum-half Ben Vellacott – named skipper – and stand-off Healy selected at half-back.

Hooker Dave Cherry starts alongside props Boan Venter and Nel up front as locks Skinner and Hodgson complete the tight-five.

Fijian number 8 Viliame Mata is named in the back-row alongside flankers Muncaster and Hamish Watson.


Edinburgh Rugby team to face DHL Stormers at DHL Stadium in the BKT United Rugby Championship
Saturday 23 March (kick-off 3.05pm GMT/ 5.05pm local) – live on Viaplay

15. Emiliano Boffelli (37)

14. Wes Goosen (23)
13. Mark Bennett (100)
12. Matt Currie (30)
11. Jake Henry*

10. Ben Healy (14)
9. Ben Vellacott (52) CAPTAIN

1. Boan Venter (58)
2. Dave Cherry (84)
3. WP Nel (199)
4. Jamie Hodgson (56)
5. Sam Skinner (17)
6. Ben Muncaster (29)
7. Hamish Watson (151)
8. Viliame Mata (129)


16. Patrick Harrison (14)
17. Luan de Bruin (23)
18. Javan Sebastian (10)
19. Marshall Sykes (55)
20. Tom Dodd (8)
21. Charlie Shiel (60)
22. Cammy Scott (6)
23. Chris Dean (144)

Unavailable: Luke Crosbie (shoulder), Darcy Graham (groin), Robin Hislop (knee), Harry Paterson (foot), Scott Steele (hip), Nathan Sweeney (groin), Glen Young (ankle).

*Edinburgh Rugby debut

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