Sbu Nkosi has full confidence in Siya Kolisi’s ability to fill the “huge” boots left by Lukhanyo Am at the Sharks, reports DEVIN HERMANUS.
Kolisi has taken over the captaincy duties from Am, who has joined the Kobe Steelers in Japan for two months. Am’s absence will also be felt in the Sharks midfield, where he has starred on attack and defence in the Vodacom United Rugby Championship this season.
The Springbok centre is set to return in time for the knockout stages of the competition, should the Sharks qualify for the playoffs.
Speaking ahead of the Sharks’ clash with Scarlets on Friday at Kings Park, Nkosi said: “It would be a huge loss for any team in the world to lose a player like Lukhanyo. But we’ve got capable replacements in the backline, it’ll just take some time to adjust.
“[Kolisi] is already part of the leadership team and discussions, and he talks with the coaches. The difference now is he has the authority that comes with the title [of captain].”
Much has been made of South African teams’ ability to adjust to playing in the northern hemisphere while still enjoying summery conditions at home. Nkosi, though, believes that the situation works both ways, and the wing is relishing the chance of going up against foreign opponents in a “very hot and humid” Durban.
“The ball will be slippery [on Friday], it’s what we’re expecting,” he added. “We’re moulded by this heat so we would love to use [the conditions] to our advantage like other teams use their conditions to their advantage.”
The Sharks are top of the SA log in the URC, and in eighth place overall, so Nkosi feels that Sean Everitt’s men have yet to hit their straps in the competition.
“We’ve got a very good game model … it’s not perfect yet, we’ve only shown glimpses of it,” he said. “We just need to get the consistency and that will see us hitting the nail on the head.”