Nel hungry for more silverware

Tue, 28 Nov 2017 13:48
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SEVENS SPOTLIGHT: After a memorable 2017 so far, Ruhan Nel has his sights set on winning more trophies over the next few months.  

After winning the World Rugby Sevens Series with the BlitzBoks earlier this year, Nel did not relax and enjoy the fruits of his labour, but rather jumped straight into the blue and white hoops of Western Province.

This move was rewarded when the Capetonians won the National Provincial Challenge, but more silverware awaited Nel, who represented the Golden Lions and Griquas at wing earlier in his career.

Playing at inside centre, outside centre and wing for Western Province in the Currie Cup, Nel then lifted South Africa's premier domestic trophy as well, giving him a unique triple for the year.

Now back with the BlitzBoks for another World Series, his thirst for trophies is far from over, Nel confirmed in Dubai, where the South Africans are preparing for the Dubai Sevens tournament, the first of the 2017/18 series.

"The XVs certainly helped me improve my contact skills and physicality, while I found it easier to identify space and to get my defensive alignment correct, thanks to my Sevens experience, so the benefit worked both ways. "I certainly feel that I had the best of both worlds."

Nel performed very well for the BlitzBoks last season, playing in all 10 tournaments and becoming a regular starter for the team, so it is not surprising that he is looking for another solid contribution.

"It is always an honour to play for the BlitzBoks and this new season brings new challenges," said Nel.

"We also have the Commonwealth Games and the Rugby World Cup Sevens this season, so it is very easy to be motivated."

Tim Agaba, meanwhile, applauded the impact the BlitzBoks had on his career. Although he missed the first half of the series-winning season due to an ankle injury, the big forward also hopped over to XVs, where he represented the Blue Bulls in the Currie Cup.

"Unfortunately I was injured early on in the campaign, so I am very happy to be back in the team at the start of the new season," said Agaba.

"The skills your pick up in Sevens certainly aid your development to be a better XVs players, not the other way around," he feels.

Agaba could play in his 50th match for the BlitzBoks against Uganda, his country of birth in the opening match of the South African campaign, but he chooses to rather focus on the outcomes for the team, rather than individual achievements.

"It is great to be back with the guys and hopefully we can do well again. We will keep our feet on the ground and keep on working hard. We believe that if we stick to our standards, everything else will take care of itself."

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FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Fri, 15 December 2017
Ulster v Harlequins 19h45 Kingspan Stadium
Sat, 16 December 2017
Montpellier v Glasgow Warriors 13h00 Altrad Stadium
Treviso v Scarlets 13h00 Stadio Comunale di Monigo
Leinster v Exeter Chiefs 15h15 Aviva Stadium
Racing Metro v Castres 15h15 Stade Yves-du-Manoir
Bath v Toulon 17h30 Recreation Ground
Sun, 17 December 2017
Wasps v La Rochelle 13h00 Ricoh Arena
Clermont Auvergne v Saracens 15h15 Stade Marcel-Michelin
Ospreys v Northampton Saints 15h15 Liberty Stadium
Leicester Tigers v Munster 17h30 Welford Road
RESULT SCORE
Mon, 11 December 2017
Saracens v Clermont Auvergne 14 | 46
Sun, 10 December 2017
Exeter Chiefs v Leinster 8 | 18
Harlequins v Ulster 5 | 17
La Rochelle v Wasps 49 | 29
Sat, 09 December 2017
Munster v Leicester Tigers 33 | 10
Castres v Racing Metro 16 | 13
Northampton Saints v Ospreys 32 | 43
Toulon v Bath 24 | 20
Scarlets v Treviso 33 | 28
Fri, 08 December 2017
Glasgow Warriors v Montpellier 22 | 29
Sun, 03 December 2017
Harlequins v Saracens 20 | 19
Sat, 02 December 2017
Cheetahs v Scarlets 28 | 21
Munster v Ospreys 36 | 10
Wasps v Leicester Tigers 32 | 25
Treviso v Leinster 10 | 36
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