Willem Nel might be secure in his new surroundings in Scottish rugby – but the Edinburgh prop is remaining tight-lipped about a potential international future north of the border.
When South Africa-born Nel signed for the RaboDirect PRO12 outfit this summer there was no secret made of his status as a ‘project player’ for the SRU as they prepared for the 2015 World Cup.
After a slow start on domestic duty Nel caught the eye in Europe last weekend in a losing cause away at Racing Metro.
The big-spending French outfit return to Scotland on Friday and while Nel admits his immersion in RaboDirect PRO12 action has taken some getting used to he’s loving the challenge.
“I just want to play for Edinburgh and make Edinburgh better. I'm not thinking about being a project player, I just want to get on with my game. I don't want to get ahead of myself,” Nel told the Glasgow Herald.
“I think I'm getting more used to the way games are played here now, so hopefully it will just get better.
"I think it certainly is more intense. In the Super 15 you have quick games, going wide to wide, but here they want to play around the rucks and through the middle. The rugby is slower, but the intensity is a lot greater and games seem to be a lot closer.
"There are a couple of techniques you have to learn here, but I think I've got used to it quite quickly. At Edinburgh, it's something we always want to improve on. We want to get better there and dominate teams up front. If you want to do that, your first phase must be great; we do a lot of work on it."