- Sharks coach Sean Everit is excited to bring Luhaño Ama back from his stay in Japan.
- While Am was in the Far East, Sharks found different ways to cope without him.
- Everit adds that they will be ready for any weather changes as the hemisphere seasons change.
The Sharks showed they can live without their midfielder Springbok Luhanyo Ambut their coach Sean Everit said they were happy to return it.
The captaincy in the crucial game of the United Rugby Championship on Friday against Ulster in Belfast will remain with the props of Thomas du Tua, but with the approach of the playoffs there is no better time to get back better.
Everit said they missed Am in all aspects of team building. Am, whose contract with the Sharks expires in 2025, has been in Japan for a short time.
“We are very happy that Luhaño is back and he is a key member of our team,” Everit said.
“We missed him until he was gone. It’s not just what he brings when he’s on the field, but also his leadership off the field.”
The last time the South African national team played in Europe was in late February. The Sharks and the Bulls brushed off the Italian teams, while the Stormtroopers and the Lions passed Connacht and Leinster respectively.
They then embarked on a home run that leveled their poor start to the competition in Europe, although the Sharks did not appear in a loss to Edinburgh 21-5 on 26 March.
Everit said they are different from what they were at the start of the competition, and have found a way of rugby that works for them.
“All the South African teams fought at the start of the competition, but now we have a different team compared to that time,” Everit said.
“We worked hard to build cohesion. We performed well as a band and we play rugby, which is different in every way.
“This group became closer with the fact that they spent more time together, and helped Happiness choose the same lineup every week.”
With the transition of the northern hemisphere in the summer one could easily expect the conditions to get better.
Everit said rain was predicted for their game, but they are ready for it.
“We played at home in rainy conditions, but the difference is in the type of rain,” Everit said.
“It’s raining warmly in Durban, and it’s raining cold here, and we’re told it’s not very good for the game, but our game model allows us to tune in accordingly.”
Friday’s game in Belfast will start at 20:35 (SAH time).
15 Aphelele Fassi, 14 Werner Kok, 13 Lukhanyo Am, 12 Marius Louw, 11 Makazole Mapimpi, 10 Curwin Bosch, 9 Jaden Hendrikse, 8 Phepsi Buthelezi, 7 Henco Venter, 6 Siya Kolisi, 5, Reniel Hugo, 5 Ruben Hugo, 3 Thomas du Tua (Captain), 2 Bongi Mbonambi, 1 Aux Nche
Substitutes: 16 Kerran van Vuuren, 17 Ntutuko Mchunu, 18 Khuta Mchunu, 19 Hairan Andrews, 20 Gendra Labushan, 21 Sikumbuzo Notche, 22 Grant Williams, 23 Baeta Chamberlain