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World Cup winning Springbok returns to start for Sharks

By Josh Raisey
South Africa's lock Eben Etzebeth, South Africa's prop Frans Malherbe, South Africa's lock Rg Snyman, South Africa's flanker Jasper Wiese, South Africa's centre Lukhanyo Am celebrate after victory in the France 2023 Rugby World Cup quarter-final match between France and South Africa at the Stade de France in Saint-Denis, on the outskirts of Paris, on October 15, 2023. (Photo by Thomas SAMSON / AFP) (Photo by THOMAS SAMSON/AFP via Getty Images)

The Sharks are set to welcome back World Cup winning South Africa centre Lukhanyo Am for their contest against Connacht at Kings Park tomorrow in the United Rugby Championship.

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While the bulk of the victorious Springboks squad are still unavailable for South African teams due to mandatory rest periods, Am has been released after not playing a game for South Africa in France. In fact, the 29-year-old was only drafted into the squad midway through the tournament after Makazole Mapimpi was ruled out with a facial injury.

Winless in their opening four matches of the season and sitting at the bottom of the URC standings, this will be the Sharks’ first home match of the campaign against a Connacht side who only lost their first match last round.

Video Spacer

WATCH as departing coach Jacques Nienaber drops a hint that he might return to the Springbok fold in the not too distant future

Video Spacer

WATCH as departing coach Jacques Nienaber drops a hint that he might return to the Springbok fold in the not too distant future

Looking ahead to the match, head coach John Plumtree said: “They’re another Irish side that is pretty experienced, they have a lot of URC caps amongst the forwards, so it’s going to be a great battle for our forward pack. They play dangerously, like all the Irish teams they’re very unpredictable, we will have to break them down. Defensively, it is going to be tough.

“It’s going to be a tough challenge for us, they’re a pretty consistent side, a real threat. We’re going to have to play really well and I’m hoping our energy for this first game back home is high, and that we get a good crowd that cheers us on.”

Hollywoodbets Sharks XV
1. Ntuthuko Mchunu
2. Dylan Richardson
3. Coenie Oosthuizen
4. Corne’ Rahl
5. Emile van Heerden
6. James Venter
7. Phepsi Buthelezi
8. Sikhumbuzo Notshe
9. Cameron Wright
10. Curwin Bosch
11. Aphiwe Dyantyi
12. Francois Venter (c)
13. Lukhanyo Am
14. Werner Kok
15. Aphelele Fassi

Replacements
16. Daniel Jooste
17. Dian Bleuler
18. Hanro Jacobs
19. Jeandre Labuschagne
20. Tino Mavesere
21. Zee Mkhabela
22. Boeta Chamberlain
23. Rohan Janse van Rensburg

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