Seven players to leave Edinburgh

Seven players to leave Edinburgh

Edinburgh Rugby has confirmed the seven senior men’s players that will depart the club at the end of the season.

WP Nel, Viliame Mata, Charlie Savala, Luan de Bruin, Adam McBurney, Jamie Campbell and Scott Steele will all leave at the end of the current campaign.

Mata (Bristol Bears), Savala (Northampton Saints), De Bruin (Newcastle Falcons) and McBurney (Connacht) all join new clubs, while Steele announced earlier today his decision to retire from rugby at the end of the season.

Double centurion Nel confirmed that he will hang up his boots at the end of the season in March, while Campbell is set to pursue playing opportunities outside of the UK this summer.

Head Coach Sean Everitt said: “I’d like to thank all of our departing players for their contributions to Edinburgh Rugby during their time at the club. They’ve all been a valuable part of the squad and I wish them all the best in their future endeavours.

“We’re grateful for the effort and commitment that these players have shown throughout their time at Edinburgh. They’ve all played a role in the team’s success and we’ll miss them around the club dearly because of what they brought as individuals and players.

“On behalf of everyone at Edinburgh Rugby, I’d like to thank our seven departing players for their hard work and dedication. They’ve all been a pleasure to work with and will still have big roles to play as we aim to finish the season on a high note.”

2023/24 Edinburgh Rugby leavers

WP Nel | Edinburgh Rugby #1160 | 205 appearances

An Edinburgh legend through and through, Nel became just the third player to reach 200 appearances for the capital club when he featured against DHL Stormers in Cape Town in March, following in the footsteps of Allan Jacobsen and Chris Paterson.

The fan-favourite has truly made Edinburgh home since joining from the South African franchise Cheetahs in 2012, with wife Alana and his four children settled in the Scottish capital.

From 40m solo tries against Leinster, to a plethora of set-piece penalties that solidified Nel’s reputation as one of the club’s greatest ever scrummagers, there will only ever be one W.P Nel, a gentle giant who has owned Edinburgh’s #3 jersey for well over a decade.

Viliame Mata | Edinburgh Rugby #1227 | 136 appearances

No Edinburgh supporter will ever forget Toulon and that offload.

And yes, while that moment crowned Mata as one of the game’s great entertainers, the Fijian internationalist has meant so much more to a club and a fan base during an eight-year spell in the Scottish capital.

For many fans, Edinburgh Rugby’s greatest-ever overseas signing, Mata became the first non-Scot to reach 100 appearances for the club in a victory over Zebre Parma in October 2022, while his pride in representing a city he has made home away from home has made the Fijian a fan-favourite since day one.

Charlie Savala | Edinburgh Rugby #1291 | 30 appearances

Savala joined the club from Australian Rugby League side Sydney Roosters in October 2020, making his debut at stand-off against Cardiff Rugby at Cardiff Arms Park in March 2021.

A slick playmaker, and comfortable with ball in hand, Savala will be remembered for helping Edinburgh secure a famous European away win against Saracens in 2021/22.

Savala makes the permanent move to Northampton Saints following a loan period at the English club.

Luan de Bruin | Edinburgh Rugby #1303 | 25 appearances 

Prop De Bruin joined from Leicester Tigers ahead of the 2021/22 season, making his debut against DHL Stormers at Hive Stadium in October 2021.

A former junior Springbok, De Bruin grabbed his first and only try for the club in the Champions Cup clash with Saracens at StoneX Stadium in December 2022.

De Bruin joins English Premiership side Newcastle Falcons at the end of the season.

Adam McBurney | Edinburgh Rugby #1305 | 23 appearances

Hooker McBurney joined the club from Ulster ahead of the 2021/22 season, making his debut in the road win over Dragons in November 2021.

A courageous ball-carrier, McBurney grabbed his first score for the club in an away European clash with London Irish in January 2022.

The hooker joins URC side Connacht at the end of the season.

Jamie Campbell | Edinburgh Rugby #1313 | 1 appearance 

Campbell joined Edinburgh Rugby ahead of the 2021/22 season. A product of the Kelvinside Academy, the lock played much of his early rugby playing for Biggar RFC.

The lock made his professional debut against Connacht in March 2022 and will pursue playing opportunities overseas when he departs the club this summer.

Scott Steele

Scotland internationalist Steele joined the club ahead of the current campaign, however a hip injury has kept the scrum-half on the sidelines for the entirety of the regular season.

The former London Irish and Harlequins man announced his decision to retire from professional rugby at the end of the season, bringing an end to a storied career that started in Dumfries, took him south to Leicester Tigers, and now finishes in the Scottish capital.

Edinburgh Rugby wishes Scott the very best in his next steps post-rugby.

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