Lukhanyo Am locked and loaded for Boks

Am will play as an injury replacement for close friend and winger Makazole Mapimpi.

Lukhanyo Am is ready to “do the job” if he is called to play in a potential World Cup playoff after joining the Springboks in Toulon on Wednesday.

Am has been in high spirits since arriving at the Bok World Cup base on Wednesday.

The centre suffered a knee injury in the team’s World Cup warm-up match against Argentina in Buenos Aires early in August, but he has recovered fully and is delighted to be back in contention for a World Cup playoff, depending on the result of the Pool B finale between Scotland and Ireland on Saturday.

“It’s a good feeling to be back,” said Am.

“It’s special to be part of this group. It was frustrating being injured and to have to follow the World Cup from home. It was as though something you love is taken away from you.

“But I’ve been working hard and I’m very fortunate to have been called up to the squad.”

Am has not played since being forced off at half time in the warm-up in Buenos Aires, but is putting in the hard yards to get himself ready for the quarter-finals.

“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,” said Am.

“Training is obviously not the same as playing a game, but I knew it was vital to keep up to speed to be ready in case I received the call.

“When you are on standby you have to be loaded at all times and ready, so I made sure I was switched on mentally and ensured that I was ready physically as well.”

Am added: “The mental side is the most important in a situation such as that. But I’ve been cleared to play, I’m fit, and if I make the match 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.”

The Springboks returned to the training field on Wednesday after two days off and followed that up with training sessions on Thursday and Friday where they continued to put the groundwork in place for a possible quarter-final spot.

The team will have Saturday off and will resume training on Sunday if they advance to the top eight.

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