VIDEO: Brother Lukhi ready to do a job for Boks
Recalled Springbok centre Lukhanyo Am is confident he will not let the team down if he is named in a World Cup quarterfinal matchday squad.
Am joined the squad this past Wednesday, having completed his rehabilitation from a knee injury suffered in the 24-13 World Cup warm-up victory win over Argentina in Buenos Aires on August 5.
He replaced injured wing Makazole Mapimpi in the 33-man squad.
Mapimpi was been ruled out of the global showpiece after fracturing his ‘cheekbone’ in the 49-18 Pool B match against Tonga this past Sunday.
Am will have to wait till after Saturday’s Ireland versus Scotland Pool B decider in Paris to know if South Africa is still in the tournament or has been knocked out in the pool stages for the first time.
However, he is just happy to train with his teammates again.
“It’s a good feeling to be back,” said Am at the team’s training base in Toulon.
“It’s special to be part of this group.
“It was frustrating when I was injured and had to follow the guys from a distance.
“It was as though – like something you love is taken away from you.”
(WATCH as recalled Springbok centre Lukhanyo Am chats to @king365ed about his return to the Springbok camp…)
Speaking about the welcoming hug from captain Siya Kolisi and Wednesday’s training session upon his arrival back in camp, Am admitted it was like being back with your family.
“We spend a lot of time together,” he said of his two months away from the team.
“It is part of our lives and being away from it, you do actually miss it.
“Being back at it [in camp] again is just amazing.”
He admitted he was worried when he suffered the injury in Buenos Aires, but once he realised the length of his lay-off he knew he was not going to be fit in time for the World Cup squad announcement.
“I had to shift my focus to recovery and getting as fit as I could,” he told @rugby365com.
“I knew I was on standby, in case something happened [in the Bok team] and it was just a waiting game.”
His rehabilitation progressed according to plan, but having missed the initial selection cut he worked hard to be ready for the call.
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“I’m very fortunate to have been called up and be back in the squad again.”
Despite not having played any rugby since the beginning of August, the 35-times capped Bok midfielder believes he is in good enough shape should he be named in the matchday 23 for the quarterfinals.
“I’ve been working hard on my running and getting my fitness levels as high as possible in the last few weeks, especially given the demands of international rugby,” Am told @rugby365com.
“Having joined the group I am now training at high intensity.
“Training is obviously not the same as playing a game, but I am confident I will be able to step up if selected.”
He said being on standby you have to be ready and ‘loaded at all times’.
“I made sure I was switched on mentally and ensured that I was ready physically as well.
“The mental side is the most important in a situation such as that.
“It cuts really deep and gets lonely at times.
“However, I am fit now and I’ve been cleared to play, I’m fit, and if I make the matchday 23 in the next match, I’ll be ready to do the job for the team.
“It’s my responsibility to get back into the swing of things as quickly as possible and to be ready to slot into the team if I’m called upon to do so.”