SA Sevens’ Nel replaces Dippenaar

2015-04-02 00:00

CAPE TOWN — Utility back Ruhan Nel was called up as a replacement for the injured Stephan Dippenaar yesterday and will join his Springbok Sevens team-mates tomorrow for the Tokyo Sevens.

The Japanese event will be staged this coming weekend on April 4 and 5 and is round seven of the World Rugby Sevens Series, which consists of nine tournaments.

Dippenaar returns home after he failed to recover in time from a hamstring injury he picked up at the Hong Kong Sevens last weekend.

Nel is a promising member of the Bok Sevens squad and he has already played in four World Series tournaments. He is the second injury-enforced change to the South African squad after Carel du Preez flew out to Japan to replace Philip Snyman, who suffered a knee ligament injury in Hong Kong.

South Africa managed to stay in the lead for the coveted Series title after collecting 17 points for their third-place effort in Hong Kong. They are now just two points in front of Hong Kong winners, Fiji, and three ahead of New Zealand.

This season carries added significance because the top four ranked sides after the ninth and final round in London in May will qualify directly for the Olympic Games in Rio in 2016. The Springbok Sevens’ Pool C opponents in Tokyo are USA, ­Canada and Kenya.

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