WP Nel knows that he is now well into the twilight of his playing career, and the 35-year-old tight-head prop has stated preparing for the day when he hangs up his boots by dabbling in coaching and recently buying team-mate Pierre Schoeman's biltong supply business – but he insists that he isn’t in any rush to reach that point.  

“I don’t know – it all depends on the body,” he replies, when asked if this 2021-22 season might be a swansong after nine years playing for Edinburgh. “Some days I get up out of bed and ask myself: why am I still doing this? But on some days – especially on game days – you get all the hype and everything and you think: this is why I’m still doing it!  

"The coaching is something that came along, something that I started last year, and I love putting something back into the boys and hopefully they take it on," he adds. "The business is something that I hope will take off after rugby. I’m at a time where I need to look at something different because rugby is not forever –  but while the body is healthy, I’ll keep going."

Forty-three-times capped Nel played three of Scotland’s five games during the most recent Six Nations, coming off the bench against England and Wales, then starting against Ireland, and he believes that he could still do a job if called upon by Gregor Townsend this Autumn. 

“If I get the opportunity to pull that blue jersey over my head, I will do what I can for Scotland to get a good performance,” he says, before highlighting that a more immediate concern is Saturday’s home match for Edinburgh against the DHL Stormers. 

The South African side have lost both their matches since joining the United Rugby Championship during the close-season, while Edinburgh are looking to bounce back from a narrow loss away to Benetton last weekend – so it is going to be a contest between two teams in desperate need of a confidence-boosting win. 

“They have a good pack, as we saw against Munster last weekend, so they will bring a challenge there,” concludes Nel. “But the South African boys also want to run with the ball and want to play in the backs, so we are going to be up for a great challenge in the tight and out wide this week.”