Ruhan Nel keen to return to ‘special’ Cape Town Stadium
CAPE TOWN - STORMERS centre Ruhan Nel says he’s excited to make the move to the “special” Cape Town Stadium with the Stormers.
The Cape side will call the modern venue home when the Rainbow Cup kicks off in April.
Nel, having been a key figure in the Springbok Sevens side over the years, is of course no stranger to the stadium.
Now, though, he’s looking forward to running out (and hopefully welcoming supporters soon) to their new home with more teammates around him on the pitch.
“Cape Town Stadium will always be a special place, especially for us Sevens guys,” he said.
“It was the only opportunity on the World Series that you had to play in front of family and friends, so you’ll always have that special connection.
“To have the Stormers have Cape Town Stadium as our home stadium now … it’s a special place to play at.
“We’re excited for people to eventually come into the stadium and experience it with us.”
During the current Preparation Series, Stormers head coach John Dobson has spoken at length about their goal of playing the kind of rugby that’s true to the union’s DNA and ensuring their less-experienced players get game time under the belt before the Rainbow Cup kicks off. And so far, they’ve ticked both boxes.
The Stormers will go into their game against the Lions at Cape Town Stadium on Saturday (5.15pm kickoff) on the back of a 34-29 defeat to the Bulls at Loftus Versfeld in Pretoria.
They led 20-7 at one stage and were very much in it right up to the 84th minute, but, unlike what is usually the norm when teams suffer a loss – especially one that they could have claimed – they won’t be eager to right their wrongs or produce an improved performance in their next challenge, per se.
Instead, the group are looking forward to building on what they’ve got right so far, Nel explained.
“We actually had the game (against the Bulls), but I think it’s a trend we’ve had in the last few games of the Preparation Series … letting teams in during those soft moments, so it’s something we want to rectify.
“But the way we’re playing is very encouraging. The guys are working for one another,” Nel said.
“To go into the 84th minute up at Loftus against the Bulls wasn’t bad, the team are actually encouraged by it and excited about the way we’re playing now.”