A 2019 World Cup-winning Springbok has been recognised by former British & Irish Lions skipper Brian O’Driscoll as currently one of rugby’s most exciting players.
Selecting a best of the best for SportsJOE from those who have continually starred for club and country, O’Driscoll’s lineup includes two Frenchmen, two Irishmen and one player each from Australia, New Zealand, Argentina, Scotland and South Africa.
Although injury cut Lukhanyo Am’s 2022 Test season short, there was arguably nobody who came near to him in his position on the planet, and the outside centre was easily the Boks’ most impactful player in every match he played in for the world champions.
While his defensive understanding is the glue to much of the Bok game plan, his attacking prowess was phenomenal last year, as his crazy offloads, cutting runs and deceptive turn of pace made him a danger to defences.
Am, who was initially sidelined since September following knee surgery, made his Champions Cup debut for the Sharks in December, and has wreaked havoc in the Vodacom United Rugby Championship whenever paired with Rohan Janse van Rensburg.
Joining Am on O’Driscoll’s star-studded list is former World Rugby Player of the Year Antoine Dupont, in-form Scotland flyhalf Finn Russell and highly rated All Blacks No 8 Ardie Savea.
Brian O’Driscoll’s nine-man list:
Caelan Doris (Ireland)
Ardie Savea (New Zealand)
Samu Kerevi (Australia)
Garry Ringrose (Ireland)
Finn Russell (Scotland)
Damian Penaud (France)
Antoine Dupont (France)
Lukhanyo Am (South Africa)
Santiago Carreras (Argentina)
Photo: David Rogers/Getty Images