RWC winner Lukhanyo Am to captain Sharks in Super Rugby

RWC winner Lukhanyo Am to captain Sharks in Super Rugby

2019 Rugby World Cup winning centre Lukhanyo Am has been named as captain for the Sharks’ 2020 Super Rugby campaign.

Lukhanyo Am
Steve Haag Sports

Am will lead a Sharks squad brimming with youth into the upcoming season as one of a handful of senior players remaining in Durban following the departure of several experienced campaigners last year.

The Springbok centre’s career has gone from strength to strength since he joined the Sharks in 2016. Having played for Border for a number of years, Am made waves in his first season for the Southern Kings before making a move to Durban.

Am wasted no time becoming a standout player for the Sharks in Super Rugby which eventually led to him earning his first Springbok cap in December 2017. He has gone on to play 15 Tests for the Springboks to date and was an integral part of South Africa’s victorious campaign at the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan.

As a vital cog in both the Sharks and Springboks backline, Am has been backed to captain the side as the team looks to kickstart a campaign under new coach Sean Everitt.

Given his recent success at the World Cup and his steadily growing stock as one of the best centres in World Rugby, Everitt says that Am was the perfect man to lead the Sharks.

“Lukhanyo brings a winning culture to the Sharks.  He has an enormous presence in the team and is a brilliant rugby player. I respect his commitment and dedication to the Sharks and I have no doubt that his captaincy role will inspire the young players around him to give off their best,” Everitt said.

While the Sharks may have lost a number of players in 2019, they still have a number of players with vast experience at both Test and domestic levels.

As Everitt explains, Am will have plenty of support from a number of leaders in the team.

“Scrumhalf Louis Schreuder, himself no stranger to a leadership role, will assist with game management, while Andre Esterhuizen will provide defensive support, with another World Cup winner in Makazole Mapimpi managing our transition and Curwin Bosch assisting with our attack. From a forward perspective, Thomas du Toit will assist with set-piece feedback,” Everitt said.

The appointment is just the latest achievement for Am, who is no doubt still on a high from the Springboks triumph in November last year. Nevertheless the prospect of a new challenge is one that the Sharks skipper is not taking for granted.

“It is a huge honour and privilege to be chosen to lead this team of brothers. We have an exciting new squad of players and management, who are eager to make their mark and to see us grow as a group.  We will all be working together with positivity and eagerness, making sure the team always comes first,” Am said.

Sharks 2020 Super Rugby squad:

Forwards: Andisa Ntsila, Celimpilo Gumede, Craig Burden, Dylan Richardson, Emile van Heerden, Evan Roos, Fez Mbatha, Henco Venter, Hyron Andrews, James Venter, JJ van der Mescht, John-Hubert Meyer, Jordan Sesink-Clee, Juan Schoeman, Kerron van Vuuren, Khutha Mchunu, Le Roux Roets, Tera Mtembu, Michael Kumbirai, Mzamo Majola, Ox Nche, Phepsi Buthelezi, Ruben van Heerden, Sikhumbuzo Notshe, Thomas du Toit, Tyler Paul. 

Backs: Andre Esterhuizen, Aphelele Fassi, Cameron Wright, Curwin Bosch, Grant Williams, Boeta Chamberlain, Jeremy Ward, Jordan Chait, JP Pieterseon, Louis Schreuder, Lukhanyo Am (c), Lwazi Mvovo, Madosh Tambwe, Makazole Mapimpi, Marius Louw, Murray Koster,Sanele Nohamba, Sbu Nkosi, Thaakir Abrahams.

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