Lukhanyo Am heeds Sharks captaincy call for ‘Mission Impossible’ against Leinster

Lukhanyo Am of Cell C Sharks BKT United Rugby Championship, Parc y Scarlets, Llanelli, Wales

The Sharks will be captained by Springbok centre Lukhanyo Am for their United Rugby Championship quarter-final in Dublin against Leinster. Picture: Andy Watts/INPHO/Shutterstock/BackpagePix

Published May 5, 2023

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Johannesburg - The Sharks will be captained by Springbok centre Lukhanyo Am for their “Mission Impossible” United Rugby Championship quarter-final in Dublin against Leinster while James Venter comes in for injured skipper Siya Kolisi.

There is also a start for 20-year-old lock Corne Rahl in the second row, an area where the Sharks have suffered a series of injury casualties, including Springbok icon Eben Etzebeth.

The young Rahl has been rewarded for his fiery performances for the Sharks in the Currie Cup, a competition that has also given Venter a new lease on life and he will be delighted to back in the starting lineup after a long period on the outer.

Venter was one of the best Sharks player when they topped Super Rugby just before Covid-19 struck, but he has struggled to nail down a place in recent seasons.

In a forced change at flyhalf, the injured Curwin Bosch is replaced by Boeta Chamberlain, who moves from fullback where there is a welcome return for “Weekend Special” Aphelele Fassi.

In another forced change on the right wing, Marbus Potegier comes in for Werner Kok.

Sharks team: 15 Aphelele Fassi, 14 Marnus Potgieter, 13 Lukhanyo Am, 12 Ben Tapuai, 11 Makazole Mapimpi, 10 Boeta Chamberlain, 9 Grant Williams, 8 Sikhumbuzo Notshe, 7 Vincent Tshituka, 6 James Venter 5, Corne Rahl, 4 Gerbrandt Grobler, 3 Thomas du Toit, 2 Bongi Mbonambi 1 Ox Nche.

Replacements: Fez Mbatha, Ntuthuko Mchunu, Carlu Sadie, Jeandre Labuschagne, Phepsi Buthelezi, Cameron Wright, Rohan Janse van Rensburg, Nevaldo Fleurs.

IOL Sport