Pumas lose captain for season

The Pumas’ Super Rugby Unlocked campaign has been dealt a significant blow after it was confirmed that captain Ryan Nell will miss the season through injury.

Nell will be sidelined for at least three months after injuring his knee during the team’s opening loss to the Cheetahs in Bloemfontein last weekend.

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The 30-year-old centre, who has previously played for the Vodacom Bulls and Western Province, will likely miss both the Super Rugby Unlocked and Currie Cup tournaments.

‘This is bad,’ Nell told Netwerk24. ‘We’ve trained for eight or nine months and I really looked forward to the season.

‘However, I will use the time to recover.’

Jimmy Stonehouse’s Pumas side is now facing a captaincy conundrum ahead of their trip to Kimberley to face the Griquas on Saturday.

Le Roux Roets, who took the captain’s armband when Nell was replaced, is also a major injury doubt for the crucial match.

Loose forward Jeandre Rudolph, who returned to the Pumas following a loan to the Bulls, is a potential captaincy candidate, having previously led the team in the 2018 Rugby Challenge.

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Photo: Dirk Kotze/Gallo Images