Super Rugby

Griquas play trump card in unleashing 'Brumby' James Verity-Amm

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James Verity-Amm
James Verity-Amm
  • Griquas have laid down a marker by selecting James Verity-Amm in his favoured position of fullback against the Lions.
  • The former Force and Brumbies star has been operating on the wing to date as a measure to gradually make him familiar to the Peacock Blues' system.
  • But with Anthony Volmink departing for the Sharks, the 26-year-old now has the opportunity to fully bloom after already showing positive glimpses in the Super Rugby Unlocked campaign.

In a match expected to have a high tempo and various attacking opportunities, Griquas will boast their very own Brumby - an Australian feral horse breed - in James Verity-Amm in Friday's Super Rugby Unlocked meeting with the Lions at Ellis Park.

Appropriately, the 26-year-old former Force and Brumbies utility back has even been granted some extra space to gallop, at his favoured position of fullback.

With Anthony Volmink off to Durban at the end of the week to join the Sharks, the Peacock Blues saw little use keeping Verity-Amm confined to playing wing.

"He made his name as a No 15," said Scott Mathie, Griquas' head coach.

"Anthony was one of our key members previously so there was little reason to keep him away from fullback when we was still present. In fact, it actually worked out well because we felt that, because of the disrupted nature of the season, it might be better for James to get used to our system on the wing.

"With Anthony moving on, James can now slot in."

Teams:
Lions

15 Gianni Lombard, 14 Stean Pienaar, 13 Wandisile Simelane, 12 Dan Kriel, 11 Courtnall Skosan, 10 Elton Jantjies (captain), 9 Morné van den Berg, 8 Len Massyn, 7 Vincent Tshituka, 6 MJ Pelser, 5 Marvin Orie, 4 Ruben Schoeman, 3 Carlu Sadie, 2 Jaco Visagie, 1 Sti Sithole

Substitutes: 16 PJ Botha, 17 Ruan Dreyer, 18 Jannie du Plessis, 19 Reinhard Nothnagel, 20 Jaco Kriel, 21 Ross Cronjé, 22 Burger Odendaal, 23 Tiaan Swanepoel

Griquas

15 James Verity-Amm, 14 Ederies Arendse, 13 Harlon Klaasen, 12 André Swarts, 11 Eduan Keyter, 10 George Whitehead (captain), 9 Zak Burger, 8 Carl Els, 7 Stefan Willemse, 6 Gideon van der Merwe, 5 Adré Smith, 4 Mzwanele Zito, 3 Ewald van der Westhuizen, 2 HJ Luus, 1 Andrew Beerwinkel

Substitutes: 16 Monde Hadebe, 17 Bandisa Ndlovu, 18 John-Roy Jenkinson, 19 Johan Momsen, 20 Ewan Coetzee, 21 Theo Maree, 22 Tinus de Beer, 23 Masixole Banda, 24 Bandisa Ndlovu, 25 CJ Velleman, 26 Jonathan Francke


Verity-Amm, a former Western Province junior who was the leading try scorer in 2015's Varsity Shield for UWC, has already shown glimpses of class in a campaign that's started with two losses.

He's already crossed the whitewash twice and is one of the most proficient line-breakers to date.

"James' Super Rugby experience is invaluable," said Mathie.

"There's a lot he brings to the table at fullback, some real technical nuances. Of course, everyone's also aware of what he can deliver with ball-in-hand. 

"I'm really excited to see him go. He's a guy who invariably has a magic touch."

Yet, to maximise his potency, Griquas will have to see more of the ball, exemplified by the fact that they only enjoyed 45% possession against the Pumas a fortnight ago.

It was the same case at Loftus.

"Yeah, we've worked quite a lot on our kicking game towards that end. We've been giving the ball away too easily," said Mathie.

"Securing our set-piece will also be important, not only for our own needs but also because the Lions are a really dangerous side on attack."

Kick-off at Ellis Park is at 19:00.

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