Edinburgh Rugby build for life without WP Nel as tighthead props Angus Williams and D'Arcy Rae agree new deals

Williams and Rae sign new two-year contracts with the capital outfit

Edinburgh Rugby have tied down tightgead prop duo Angus Williams and D’Arcy Rae for next season as they prepare for life without the long-serving WP Nel.

The 36-year-old, who recently made his 200th appearance for Edinburgh, is retiring at the end of the season. With a significant void to fill in that position for the 2024/25 campaign, Sean Everitt has moved to hand new two-year contract extensions to fellow tightheads Williams and Rae, who the head coach says have impressed him throughout the campaign.

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“We’re delighted to see both Angus and D’Arcy extend terms with the club,” said Everitt. “They are both really consistent trainers who bring the same energy and commitment every day. I’ve been really impressed with both players during my time at the club. Angus and D’Arcy both have a bit of grit and resolve about their game, while they enjoy the daily grind of improving themselves, whether that’s in the gym or on the training paddock. It’s brilliant to have two quality players signed up for next season, adding further strength and depth to the tighthead position.”

Edinburgh's D'Arcy Rae has also agreed a two-year deal.Edinburgh's D'Arcy Rae has also agreed a two-year deal.
Edinburgh's D'Arcy Rae has also agreed a two-year deal.

Everitt admitted last week that he on the hunt for reinforcements at tighthead following the news that Nel will call time on his career, with Northampton’s Paul Hill one of the players linked with the capital club. “We’ve been looking at options at tighthead because of the retirement of WP Nel,” Everitt said last Tuesday. “So we’ve had talks with quite a few players and we’re in negotiations with them but there’s nothing finite at this stage.”

Kiwi-born Williams, 30, who qualifies for Scotland through his Edinburgh-born mother, signed his first professional deal in 2021, having originally joined on a partnership contract with FOSROC Super Series side Watsonians. “I’m delighted to be staying,” he said. “Edinburgh is home to me and my partner Toni and we have become very settled here. We love the city. The club is in a great place across the board. Sean [Everitt] has come in and challenged us as a group and I feel we are in a brilliant place to excel this season.”

He added: “I have developed massively since joining Edinburgh. It’s credit to the environment created by the players and coaches at the club. We have a great group, where everyone is hungry to succeed, willing to share knowledge and push each other forward. The quality of props at the club is fantastic and the competition is fierce. We all want to compete for the starting jersey. It’s important that we continue to challenge each other to develop further. We’re all desperate to bring the team success.”

Scotland internationalist Rae joined the club in October 2023 following spells at Montpellier and Bath. On extending terms with Edinburgh, he said: “I’ve really enjoyed my time in the east so far, getting to know a new club, squad, and fan base. Working with Sean [Everitt] and Stevie [Lawrie, coach] has been great. We’ve got a really strong group of props at the club, who all do a top job of driving each other on. I’m really happy to be part of the set-up at Edinburgh Rugby for another season.”



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