Cape Town - Lukhanyo Am is quietly spoken, but the Sharks No. 13 could have a bright future with the franchise if he plays his cards right.
Playing in the current Currie Cup campaign is doing wonders for his confidence and, more importantly, giving him continued game time but, with Paul Jordaan now playing overseas, Am could retain the centre berth for next season’s Super Rugby challenge.
Hailing from King William’s Town in the Eastern Cape, Am cut his teeth in the game at school level at De Vos Malan High School, before progressing to play for Border at U19 and U21 level.
He played for the EP Kings in last year’s Currie Cup before being recruited by the Sharks.
“Last year was a good year for me as it exposed me to senior rugby, hard rugby. I gained valuable experience playing Super Rugby for the Kings and now face a new challenge with the Sharks,” he said.
With the 13 jersey there for the taking, Am has stepped up admirably and while he considers his options and opportunities ahead of next year’s Super Rugby season, he is not biting off more than he can chew, taking a sensible approach to matters.
“Obviously making the Sharks Super Rugby squad is something I can and will work towards, but there are more important things to focus on right now,” he said. “It’s a matter of taking one game at a time, staying focused on this Currie Cup quest and rising to the occasion at game time.”
Wise words as the Sharks attempt to get back on track and return to winning ways against the EP Kings this Saturday at King’s Park. “Those losses have seen us focus on certain areas where we were under pressure and subsequently lost the plot and the match,” said Am.
“It’s been said often, but we must do things our way, be in charge and get the opposition to make mistakes which we can capitalise on.”
Am is integral in a young Sharks backline, which he is enjoying, while knowing there are senior heads to help and advise. “The senior players back us and, as youngsters do, we play what is in front of us,” he said.
Playing against his former team, Am warned the Sharks not to underestimate the current log wooden spooners who have no wins from their five outings and but a solitary point to their name.
“Every game the Kings play they aim to prove a point, and searching for that first win is a major factor in their play.
“Everyone expects them to lose, but they will come at us hard for 80 minutes,” he said. “We need to get and use quality ball, stick to our game plan and give our home fans something to cheer about after two barren weeks.”
Saturday’s match kicks off at 15:00 and will be broadcast on SS1.