AUDIO: Nel eager to help wounded BlitzBoks' defence

Wed, 07 Mar 2018 13:54

VANCOUVER SEVENS SPOTLIGHT: BlitzBoks' Ruhan Nel is more than happy to be seen as one of the pillars on defence for their upcoming Sevens tournament in Vancouver.

The South African Sevens star, who scored three tries on debut for the BlitzBoks, believes they can go all the way in Vancouver this weekend, despite the absence of a number of stalwarts for the sixth tournament of the World Rugby Sevens Series.

If the South Africans managed to reach the final this year, it would be thier third consecutive year Cup final at Canada Seevns.

And Nel acknowleged for that to happen he is willing to put up his hand and make his presence felt, especially on defence.

"I am more than happy to be seen as one of the pillars on defence," said Nel.

"Playing fifteens last year made me more aware of the physical dominance on defence and I am happy to apply that in sevens. In fact, I could use some sevens skills in fifteen as well, like spatial awareness for example.

"I was happy with my contribution in Vegas, considering that I was not part of the original squad and was aiming towards the Vancouver tournament,"

The influential midfielder was called into action in Las Vegas last weekend as the official replacement when Werner Kok was concussed in the first match of the tournament. The original plan was for him to make his return in Vancouver, but Nel was more than happy to run onto the Las Vegas pitch.

"When I saw Werner taking the knock, I thought I might be in business sooner than planned. My knee came through fine though and I am ready for this weekend," said Nel, who has played 25 tournaments so far.

"We slipped up in Las Vegas and we know what we did wrong, so we are keen to get back on the field and rectify those mistakes. There is no reason why we cannot do that and be successful again,"

The Blitzboks visited West Vancouver Secondary School on Tuesday and according to Nel it was a fruitful afternoon.

"We love meeting local kids in all the countries we play and this was no different," he said.

"This time around we visited a different school from the previous two years and it was quite a scenic route to get here, so it was a nice trip overall,"

Last year was an extraordinary season for Nel, who was part of three different title-winning squads. The first was the World Rugby Sevens Series title with the BlitzBoks, and then both the Challenge Cup and Currie Cup with Western Province.

He is quick to name another three on his "to-do" list: "Well, Vancouver for one, then the Commonwealth Games (Gold Coast in April) and the Rugby Sevens World Cup (San Francisco in July). Looking at the last two, a good performance here in Vancouver is then non-negotiable,"

The tournament is played on March 10-11 and South Africa face New Zealand, Scotland and Russia in Pool D.

There are currently no matches being played
Fri, 23 March 2018
Crusaders v Bulls 06h35 Christchurch
Rebels v Sharks 08h45 Melbourne
Connacht v Edinburgh 19h35 Sportsground
Dragons v Cheetahs 19h35 Rodney Parade
Glasgow Warriors v Zebre 19h35 Scotstoun
Bath v Exeter Chiefs 19h45 Recreation Ground
Sat, 24 March 2018
Sunwolves v Chiefs 04h15 Tokyo
Hurricanes v Highlanders 06h35 Wellington
Kings v Treviso 13h00 Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium
London Irish v Gloucester 15h00 Madejski Stadium
Saracens v Harlequins 15h00 London
Sale Sharks v Worcester Warriors 15h00 AJ Bell Stadium
Stormers v Reds 15h15 Newlands
Cardiff Blues v Ulster 15h15 Cardiff Arms Park
Munster v Scarlets 17h30 Thomond Park
Newcastle Falcons v Northampton Saints 17h30 Kingston Park
Ospreys v Leinster 19h35 Liberty Stadium
Jaguares v Lions 19h40 Estadio Jose Amalfitani
Sun, 25 March 2018
Leicester Tigers v Wasps 15h00 Welford Road
Pool 0
Team P W D L Pts
Spain Sevens 0 0 0 0 20
Papua New Guinea 0 1 0 0 1
Pool 00
Team P W D L Pts
Uruguay 0 0 0 1 1
Pool 19
Team P W D L Pts
England Sevens 0 0 0 0 19
Pool 20
Team P W D L Pts
Uganda Sevens 0 0 0 0 2
Pool A
Team P W D L Pts
Fiji Sevens 0 0 0 0 0
Samoa Sevens 0 0 0 0 0
Canada Sevens 0 0 0 0 0
Scotland Sevens 0 0 0 0 0
Pool B
Team P W D L Pts
New Zealand Sevens 0 0 0 0 0
Australia Sevens 0 0 0 0 0
France Sevens 0 0 0 0 0
Pool C
Team P W D L Pts
Argentina Sevens 0 0 0 0 0
United States Sevens 0 0 0 0 0
Pool D
Team P W D L Pts
South Africa Sevens 0 0 0 0 0
Kenya Sevens 0 0 0 0 0
Russia Sevens 0 0 0 0 0
Team P W D L Pts
Wales Sevens