Lukhanyo Am: We know what we are capable of

South Africa A captain Lukhanyo Am has dismissed any suggestions that his side will be undercooked ahead of Wednesday’s match against the British & Irish Lions.

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It has been a turbulent buildup for the men in green and gold after they were forced to miss an entire week of training with Covid-19 consigning players to their hotel rooms.

Am, who captains the Sharks, has been entrusted with leading the SA A side in the absence of regular captain Siya Kolisi, who is still recovering from coronavirus. He has spoken about the disruption the Boks have had to contend with ahead of  Wednesday’s game.

“From a physical perspective, I think the most you could do was just stretches in the room. But we had Zoom meetings and did plenty of video analysis. So, that’s pretty much the preparation that we can do.

“But luckily we go into this game quite fresh and guys who had niggles have had time to recover. In terms of the physical side, we’ll need to see where we are at. We’ll need to give it our all.”

Even though the Boks would have preferred to have more time in the buildup to the Tests series to prepare, particularly given the cancellation of the second Test against Georgia, Am said they will not lack for passion.

“From our side, we are definitely excited to face the British & Irish Lions. In terms of the preparation it provides, it will be a great buildup leading to the Test series. 

“There is a lot of experience in the backline that we have. We have shown it in the past and we know what we are capable of. But it’s been a long time since we played together as a group, so every opportunity we have to prepare we need to take.”

Earlier this week Faf de Klerk spoke about the calmness that Am would bring as captain and as an individual who does not feel the need to steal the show. The quietly spoken centre reflected with humility on his new role leading a Springbok side in all but name.

“Leading the side means a great deal to me. To be selected as captain and to have experienced players in the team with more than 50 Springbok caps is something truly special. Going out there as a young leader, I’ve got so much backing from my teammates I’m just looking forward to getting out there.”