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Sharks suffer captaincy setback

INJURY UPDATE: The Sharks will be without the services of their captain and double World Cup winner Lukhanyo Am for the rest of the season.

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Confirmation of the letdown massive setback came in the build-up to their Challenge Cup Final face-off with Gloucester at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London on Friday.

Am was one of three World Cup winners injured in their Round 16 United Rugby Championship loss to Benetton in Durban earlier this month.

Prop Vincent Koch and lock Eben Etzebeth were the other casualties from that (24-25) defeat.

Etzebeth left the field for a Head Injury Assessment (concussion) and failed the test. However, he later complained about a neck injury.

Koch injured his ankle in a scrum, but walked without a limp after the game.

The lock and prop were cleared to face the English Premiership outfit, Gloucester, on Friday.

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However, Am – who injured his sternoclavicular (SC) joint and suffered a rib fracture – will not feature again this season.

Sharks Director of Rugby Neil Powell confirmed the severity of Am’s injury.

The only good news is that Am is expected to recover in time for South Africa’s two-Test series against Six Nations champions Ireland in July.

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Powell revealed that Bok scrumhalf Jaden Hendrikse is also sidelined for the remainder of the season.

He suffered a shoulder injury against Scarlets in Round 15. His injury is more severe than that of Am.

“It is always a big loss when it is one of your international players and your captain,” Powell said.

“In knock-out games and finals you want your senior players to be available for selection.

“We do have capable replacements.

“Ethan Hooker has done well to put up his hand and show that he can also play at this level,”

@king365ed
@rugby365com

* Picture credit: The Sharks

Gloucester v Sharks head to head

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