East London - The Border Rugby Union has lauded the inclusion of one of its former players, Lukhanyo Am, into the Springbok squad for their year-end European tour.
The 23-year-old Am was one of four uncapped players called up to the Bok squad last Sunday for Tests against Ireland (November 11), France (November 18), Italy (November 25) and Wales (December 2).
The others are Warrick Gelant, Dan du Preez and Louis Schreuder.
Am is back in the Springbok fold after his initial squad selection in June, which was thwarted by injury.
He is currently on the books of the Sharks, but previously represented Border and his former union was delighted to hear of his call-up to the national squad.
“(The) Border Rugby Union would like to congratulate Lukhanyo Am on being selected to the Springbok end-year tour to Europe. This is really a privilege and an honour for any player to be selected to represent his country on such a historic occasion,” the union said via a press statement on Tuesday. “Lukhanyo represented Border from age group level to the senior team and became the most consistent player in the team. His rise to stardom really illustrate that you do not need to be coming from a traditional rugby school to make it.”
Meanwhile, the union also questioned the exclusion of Cheetahs winger Makazole Mapimpi, who is also a former Border player.
“We would like to also acknowledge the consistent performance by Makazole Mapimpi, he has really been a thorn to his oppositions since being introduced to top class rugby. It is very unfortunate that he did not get selected for the end-year tour, we strongly believe he is a deserving candidate with try scoring ability second to none in the country. We hope that he will continue doing the good work that he has been doing and we confident that he will remain a true professional.”
The Border Rugby Union union said it was proud to play a part in the transformation of the game.
“Some may remember that in 2014 Border Rugby decided to groom and develop local club players, as a result eleven of those players are now playing first class rugby for various provincial unions or franchises. This is a clear indication of the value add that Border Rugby region brings to the transformation of rugby in the country.”