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JP Nel makes move from Birmingham & Solihull Bees to Bishop's Stortford

By Michael Vaughton

Helping Bishop's Stortford build on the foundations laid in their first two National League 1 campaigns is the aim for JP Nel.

The South African will be working as a builder for construction firm Anglia Improvements - who are also sponsoring him - during the week and then taking on prop new duties for his new club on Saturdays.

And the 26-year-old forward has already been impressed by what he has seen at Silver Leys following his move from National League 2S side Birmingham & Solihull Bees.

JP Nel. Picture: Vikki Lince (12344512)
JP Nel. Picture: Vikki Lince (12344512)

"It's been really good. I met the boys and everyone was so great, just getting on and doing their fitness together," said Nel, who hails from Pretoria.

"Everyone's been really friendly and it's a very warm, welcoming club. I met more of the boys at training and that was great too.

"I'm hoping to bring something to the team on both sides of the scrum and with my ball carrying and help them as the season goes on."

Nel, who played for the Pumas under-21s in his home country and competed in the Varsity Cup while at university, has only been in England since December but is no stranger to travelling.

His first move after university was to Spain before enjoying two-year spells in New Zealand and Australia with wife Natasha.

Now he is looking forward to making an impression at Stortford and being part of director of rugby Andy Long's ambitious plans.

"My first impression [of Andy] was awesome. He's a really nice guy who knows what he's doing and wants the club to be as professional as it can," said Nel, whose full first name is Jean-Pierre.

"You can see he appreciates all the effort everyone's putting in and he puts in the maximum effort himself.

"Hopefully I can do all I can to get the team even higher in the table."

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