Nel hits DHL Stormers 50 in Exeter

PUBLISHED: April 7, 2023

Centre Ruhan Nel will play his 50th DHL Stormers match in the Heineken Champions Cup quarterfinal against Exeter Chiefs at Sandy Park on Saturday.

Nel reaches the milestone in the knock-out clash, which kicks off at 18h30 SA time on Saturday.

The DHL Stormers backline is unchanged from the combination that started the Round of 16 match against Harlequins last week, while there are just two changes to the forward pack.

Heineken Star of the Match in the 32-28 victory in Cape Town Deon Fourie has been ruled out with a Medial orbital wall (eyesocket) fracture, so his place at openside flank is taken by Junior Pokomela.

The only other change sees Marcel Theunissen start at the back of the scrum, with Hacjivah Dayimani set to make an impact from the replacements bench.

DHL Stormers Head Coach John Dobson said that his team will leave it all out on the field at Sandy Park in a bid to qualify for the Heineken Champions Cup semifinal.

“This is a huge knock-out match, so we have to give it a full tilt.

“Exeter have a great record at home, so we know it will take a full effort from all 23 to get the result we need on Saturday,” he said.

Dobson paid tribute to Nel, who is a pivotal player on both defence and attack for his team.

“Ruhan always puts the team first and sets a great example for those around him in the way he approaches the game. We are lucky to have him and hopefully the team can make his 50th a memorable one,” he said.

DHL Stormers: 15 Damian Willemse, 14 Suleiman Hartzenberg, 13 Ruhan Nel, 12 Dan du Plessis, 11 Seabelo Seabelo, 10 Manie Libbok, 9 Herschel Jantjies, 8 Marcel Theunissen, 7 Ben-Jason Dixon, 6 Junior Pokomela, 5 Marvin Orie, 4 Ernst van Rhyn, 3 Frans Malherbe, 2 Joseph Dweba, 1 Steven Kitshoff (captain).
Replacements: 16 JJ Kotze, 17 Ali Vermaak, 18 Neethling Fouche, 19 Gary Porter, 20 Willie Engelbrecht, 21 Hacjivah Dayimani, 22 Paul de Wet, 23 Clayton Blommetjies.