Am happy with Sharks good start to Super Rugby season

PROTECT YOURSELF: Lukhanyo Am and Mazakole Mapimpi celebrate after the Rugby World Cup 2019 Final match between England and South Africa in Japan last year. Am has encouraged people to stay safe during the coming lockdown. Picture: JUAN JOSE GASPARINI/GALLO IMAGES
PROTECT YOURSELF: Lukhanyo Am and Mazakole Mapimpi celebrate after the Rugby World Cup 2019 Final match between England and South Africa in Japan last year. Am has encouraged people to stay safe during the coming lockdown. Picture: JUAN JOSE GASPARINI/GALLO IMAGES
Image: GALLO IMAGES
It's just a pity that we have stopped playing due to the coronavirus spread, but we are in a good position

Former Border Bulldogs star and current Cell C Sharks skipper Lukhanyo Am has been impressed with his sides start to this years Super Rugby season, however with the competition now in the balance he is urging caution during the coronavirus pandemic.

He said not much had changed since he was given the armband at the start of the season and was pleased with where his side stands after winning six out of seven matches to collect 24 points at the summit of the log standings.

“Nothing much has changed since my promotion. I think I've always been a leader at Sharks. It felt like they were formalising things by naming me captain,” said Am.

“I'm pleased with our position because we pushed hard this season. Even in the last game, we played well, and we've been striving to improve each week.

“It's just a pity that we have stopped playing due to the coronavirus spread, but we are in a good position.”

With more than 700 confirmed infections nationwide, Am has joined the list of celebrities urging people to stay at home during the 21-day lockdown in a bid to stop the spread of Covid-19.

On Monday President Cyril Ramaphosa declared that SA would be locked down for 504 hours from Thursday midnight and the Zwelitsha-born World Cup-winning Springbok told DispatchLIVE he hoped people would not leave their homes to avoid being infected by Covid-19.

“People should be afraid of coronavirus because they can easily get infected. You can get sick just by standing too close to an infected person. The numbers are growing on a daily basis,” Am said.

“We should follow these new rules that have been put in place by the government to stop the spread of this virus.

“I know it's going to be hard for some people not to socialise for 21 days but we should bear in mind that the government is trying hard to stop the spread of this killer virus.

The former Hoërskool De Vos Malan pupil said he'd already started his indoor training programme, but he did admit that he would miss his daily jogs outside.

“I'm exercising strictly indoors now, as I have to isolate myself as much as I can. I will not risk contracting the coronavirus.

“ I will miss running outside, but I will have to improvise so that when we return to playing I can still be in good shape.

“I have been trying to keep hygienic at all times, cleaning my hands and I encourage people to do the same.

“And if people don't feel OK — they must not be afraid to go and have themselves tested.

“Because that can save their lives and their families as well. So let's protect our nation during this time. People in other countries are doing the same,” said Am.

The 26-year-old Am has 15 Springbok Test caps under his belt, and has already appeared in 58 Super Rugby games, 48 of which were for the Sharks.

After winning the World Cup in Japan, Am returned to East London and showed off the Webb Ellis trophy. He then travelled to the UK and Brazil with the Barbarians, and on his return, was named captain of the Sharks.


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