Cape Town - Springbok coach Allister Coetzee says Kings duo Lukhanyo Am and Ntando Kebe have proven their potential to play at higher levels.
While the Kings have been struggling during their comeback Super Rugby season, speedster Am and scrumhalf Kebe have shown impressive form this season.
Kebe - currently on loan from Border - has been a regular starter for the Eastern Cape franchise, offering speedy service and vision from the rucks and set-pieces. Am - currently on loan from the Sharks - has featured at centre and wing, and has shown great attacking intent and physicality on defence.
This form earned the players a call-up to the SA ‘A’ squad that will prepare for a two-match series against the England Saxons in June.
Border veteran prop Blake Kyd recently told MyPlayers that the duo’s team-mates in East London are proud of their performances this season.
The Bok coach is confident that both these players will offer value at international level.
“Ntando has really impressed me at scrumhalf,” Coetzee told MyPlayers. “The Kings did really well to earn a comeback win over the Jaguares last weekend. Ntando’s vision to put Wandile Mjekevu in the corner was outstanding. It takes a special scrumhalf to see that sort of opportunity... you need players who play what’s in front of them. You don’t want them to follow structured play all the time.
“Lukhanyo has also been very good at wing and centre. He’s very good on attack, but his defensive statistics have really impressed me. I believe these players will do very well if they get a run for the SA ‘A’ side.”
Coetzee echoed the same sentiments when chatting about Garth April’s call-up to the Springbok squad.
“Garth has been very good for the Sharks this season,” Coetzee said. “When he started against Toulon during the pre-season, he showed a good balance between an attacking game and a kicking game. He’s built on that early form and has been influential for the Sharks during Super Rugby.
“Many people don’t see his value as a game organiser. As a flyhalf, he organises play very well. Like Naas Botha always says: ‘If you’re old enough... you’re good enough’. I believe Garth April is good enough to be in this Springbok squad.”
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