Ruhan Nel wasted no time in picking up where he left off for the DHL Stormers, starring in a sensational try-scoring return from injury.
Nel made his first Vodacom United Rugby Championship appearance of the season against Dragons RFC at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, where the DHL Stormers claimed a bonus-point victory.
The 31-year-old was a key part of last season’s championship run, starting 19 games and playing a total of 1339 minutes, the second-most of any player in the competition.
However,he suffered a serious neck injury during a pre-season clash against SWD Eagles, and was ruled out of the opening rounds of the 2022/23 season.
Having made a full recovery far sooner than originally expected, Nel was recalled to man the 13 channel when the DHL Stormers extended their hot streak at home to 14 wins.
His return was a spectacular success that doubled as a reminder why he was the DHL Stormers’ Mr Reliable last season.
In what was a vivid expression of the DHL Stormers’ ability to entertain, Nel was on hand to finish off a sensational try in the 22nd minute, which started with wing Tristan Leyds snatching a contestable kick out of the air with one hand.
In total, Nel gained 67 metres from 11 carries, along with making two linebreaks and three offloads.
Having started his career at the Emirates Lions in 2013, Nel made his name with the Springbok Sevens.
During the five years he spent with the Blitzboks between 2014 and 2018, Nel made 147 appearances and won back-to-back Sevens Series titles in 2017 and 2018.
During an impressive debut season for Western Province in the 2018 Currie Cup, Nel was called up to the Springbok squad.
He has since established himself as a vital cog in the DHL Stormers backline and is one of the defensive leaders within the squad.