Born in Cape Town, Nizaam (known to all as Nemo) made his professional debut (for Western Province) as a twenty-year-old, in 2011. He was in the South African Under-20s team which took part in that year’s Junior World Cup. The following year, he made his Super Rugby debut for the Stormers and went on to make ninety-seven appearances for the Cape Town-based outfit. He won his first Springbok cap in 2014 and has so far represented his country on five occasions.
He came to Wasps on a three-month loan contract in the autumn of 2017, when the club was suffering an injury crisis in the back row. He made his debut in an Anglo-Welsh Cup tie against Ospreys, in Swansea, and made an immediate impact with a man-of-the-match performance which included a try. He soon established himself as a fans’ favourite, with four tries in eleven games, before returning to South Africa.
To the delight of the Ricoh faithful, he was back in Black and Gold at the start of the 2018/19 season, on a two-year contract. He made twenty-six appearances in that season, adding three more tries to his tally. This season he produced some of his best form with six more tries in nineteen games. Although small for a number eight - six feet, sixteen stone five - he more than made up for his relative lack of stature with his athleticism, skill and rugby brain. He scored some spectacular tries - none more so than the memorable score which snatched a dramatic last-minute win at Bristol in the last game of 2019.
In total, he made fifty-six appearances for Wasps, scoring thirteen tries. He now returns to his homeland to join The Bulls, having won the hearts of all Wasps supporters. As popular off the field as on it, he is a true gentleman, an outstanding player and a real Wasps legend, who has left us with some outstanding memories.
"Nizaam has had a great couple of years in a Wasps shirt and we thank him for all of his efforts on and off the field. We would like to wish Nizaam and his family all the very best on their return to South Africa."
- Lee Blackett