The Stormers have released centre Ruhan Nel to the South Africa Sevens team in their preparation for the Olympic Games in Tokyo in July.
Nel, 29, is a veteran of the Sevens game after first making his debut for the Blitzboks in 2014.
In recent years, he he stepped away from this format to concentrate on XVs, but just couldn’t say no to the possibility of competing at the Olympics.
Stormers assistant coach Dawie Snyman explains: “We’ve given Ruhan Nel the opportunity to train with the Sevens team.
“It’s always been a big dream of his to make the Olympics side.”
Despite the Stormers already without injured flyhalf Kade Wolhuter and possibly without left wing Seabelo Senatla, who has his hearing for the red card picked up against the Sharks today, Snyman reckons they have the personnel to cope with Nel’s absence.
He says: “We’ve got Dan du Plessis and Cornel Smit that can cover that position. Smit was brilliant against the Cheetahs and Griquas [in the warm-up games].”
In terms of replacing Senatla and also possibly Willie Engelbrecht, also have his red-card hearing today, Snyman adds: “We’ve got Sergeal [Petersen] coming back, [Leolin] Zas is there, Evan Roos available [to cover for Engelbrecht] and we’ve also got Marcel Theunissen and John du Toit.”