I’ve learnt a lot already and the culture is great – Nel

Jooste Nel. PHOTO: Hannes Naudé

The big centre, Jooste Nel, is looking to impress at the Toyota Cheetahs after linking up with the team a few weeks ago and he hopes to transition into a professional rugby player.

Jooste, who tips the scales at 100kgs, has been a star for the University of the Free State Shimlas for the past few seasons, albeit he had to overcome an injury that kept him out of action for 10 months.

Nel’s return from injury earlier in the year made an immediate impact at the Shimlas and he was certainly instrumental in the team reaching the semi-finals again.

Nel told OFM Sport that he wants to grab the opportunity with both hands.

“I’ve learned a lot already and the culture is great within the camp,” said the strong ball carrier.

“I enjoy spending time with the boys and getting to know them and the coaches and how they go about their business.

“I’m really excited for what is to come and I think it is a great franchise. I think they are busy with something special at the union which a lot of people have been looking down to over the last few years.

“I’m really excited and it has been a great privilege.”

Apart from being a very strong ball carrier, Nel is also surprisingly quick on his feet, while his decision-making is certainly also a strength.

Jooste’s teammates from the Shimlas, Thabang Mahlasi and Litha Nkula, are also at the Cheetahs, however, last year already they both signed contracts with the franchise and started with the teams when they weren’t playing in or busy with the Varsity Cup.

On Saturday at 17:05, the Cheetahs face the Lions in Bloemfontein in the Currie Cup.

Morgan Piek