Am to lead Bok-boosted Sharks

Lukhanyo Am will captain an experienced Sharks team welcoming back several Springboks for Friday night’s Vodacom United Rugby Championship clash with the Vodacom Bulls at Kings Park.

Back in the side are Springbok captain Siya Kolisi and leader Lukhanyo Am, who captains the Sharks at inside centre.

Springbok wings Sbu Nkosi and Makazole Mapimpi also start, while hooker Bongi Mbonambi will make his Sharks debut after completing a move from the Stormers earlier this year.

The rest of the team features familiar faces that have been playing in the first four weeks of the URC, as Boeta Chamberlain and Ruan Pienaar continue their halfback partnership, while Hyron Andrews and Ruben van Heerden are in the second row.

“It’s great to have the Boks back with us,” Sharks coach Sean Everitt admitted. “They’ve come back into the squad full of energy and enthusiasm and have acted like true professionals, returning to the Sharks showing great discipline and preparation from the Springboks, something they’ve passed on to the younger players.

“While we’re up against a tough side in the Bulls, this is a Sharks side that grew over the first four rounds of the URC and we’re looking forward to taking the Bulls on in front of our fans, even if it’s a limited number,” Everitt added.

“It’s going to be great to have spectators cheering the Cell C Sharks on and I’m sure the players will deliver a performance fitting the gratitude they have for their support.”

Sharks – 15 Anthony Volmink, 14 Sbu Nkosi, 13 Jeremy Ward, 12 Lukhanyo Am, 11 Makazole Mapimpi, 10 Boeta Chamberlain, 9 Ruan Pienaar, 8 Phepsi Buthelezi, 7 Jeandre Labuschagne, 6 Siya Kolisi, 5 Hyron Andrews, 4 Ruben van Heerden, 3 Thomas du Toit, 2 Bongi Mbonambi, 1 Ntuthuko Mchunu.
Subs: 16 Kerron van Vuuren, 17 Khwezi Mona, 18 Lourens Adriaanse, 19 Reniel Hugo, 20 Henco Venter, 21 Sanele Nohamba, 22 Tito Bonilla, 23 Werner Kok.

Photo: Gerhard Duraan/BackpagePix

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Dylan Jack