Blitzboks midfielder Ruhan Nel missed the final of the Cape Town Sevens after suffering a hand injury in their semi-final win against France.
Nel was the Blitzboks’ top try scorer in Cape Town, with five tries, which included a brace in their quarter-final against Kenya and another against France.
However, he was forced to withdraw from the team before the final against New Zealand after he injured his hand against France to the point that he could not properly catch a ball.
New Zealand would go on to win the final 7-5 after a tight first half saw the two sides level at 0-0.
‘It was a pity that I could not play in the final, but that is the way rugby goes sometimes,’ Nel said. ‘At least I played in two full tournaments and we did very well. I am now returning to fifteens, but I am very pleased with my short comeback to sevens.’
Nel will be among several players, including the likes of Dylan Sage and Rosko Specman, who will be returning to their respective franchises for the start of the 2020 Vodacom Super Rugby season.
The 28-year-old, who was named in the Team of the Tournament, was pleased with the solid run he was afforded by coach Neil Powell.
‘At least I know my conditioning will be right up there when I join the Stormers soon.I have to thank coach Neil for allowing a couple of us back for the opening two tournaments. It was great finishing here in Cape Town – it was again such a wonderful tournament to be part of. The crowd support remains the best anywhere in the world.’
Photo: Ryan Wilkisky/BackpagePix