‘Am was an automatic choice as captain’

Coach Sean Everitt says Lukhanyo Am’s teammates ‘cheered the roof off’ when he was named as Sharks skipper this week.

Am was unveiled as the team’s leader for the 2020 Vodacom Super Rugby season on Tuesday. The 26-year-old World Cup winner has been playing for the Sharks since 2017, and takes over the captaincy from Louis Schreuder, who has been appointed as one of five vice-captains alongside Andre Esterhuizen, Makazole Mapimpi, Curwin Bosch and Thomas du Toit.

Watch: Am on leading Sharks in 2020 

Speaking to the media in Durban, Everitt explained the reasoning behind appointing Am, and detailed the reaction from the team.

‘It’s never easy choosing a captain, obviously we went through the squad. Lukhanyo and I go back a long way to his first days at the Sharks. After he came here, he was loaned to the Kings to get Super Rugby experience, which he did well. Then he came back and slotted straight in.

‘It was an automatic choice, he’s a quiet guy, but very popular. He’s not a loud, outspoken leader but in his own quiet way he gets people to follow him. We thought it would be a good opportunity and the decision was received well among the players; I think they cheered the roof off when he was announced as captain. So it was a very popular choice among the squad.’

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