Sharks lose Bok champion in final

The Sharks will be without Lukhanyo Am for the Challenge Cup final against Gloucester on Friday but hope Eben Etzebeth, Ethan Hooker and Vincent Koch will be ready for the clash in London.

Neil Powell reported mixed injury news during an online press conference on Tuesday, with the Sharks director of rugby confirming scrum-half Jaden Hendrikse and captain Am will miss the big game at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

Hendrikse is still recovering from an injury he suffered against Scarlets in Llanelli last month, while Am was one of three Springboks (Eben Etzebeth and Vincent Koch, the others) who limped off in the first half of the match against Benetton in Durban two weeks ago.

“Am is going to be away for a while. “I’m not sure the extent of his injury,” Powell said. He has a shoulder injury that he is battling and a fractured rib. She’ll be out for a few weeks. It is definitely the end of the URC and EPCR campaign for him.

“It is always a big loss not to have your national players and also your captain. Lukhanyo has been really good for us this season. In knockout games, you’ll want your veteran players to be available. So it’s a big loss for us.”

The good news to make up for the loss of Am is that center Ethan Hooker has recovered from the ankle injury he suffered in the Challenge Cup semi-final against Clermont and could take his place as outside center on Friday night, probably alongside to the veteran Francois Venter. .

“I think we have capable replacements. “Ethan Hooker has done well to put his hand up and show that he can play at this level,” Powell said.

Powell also confirmed that Etzebeth and Koch are expected to be fit for the final, in what will be a huge boost for the Sharks, who will automatically qualify for next season’s Champions Cup if they beat Gloucester.

Photo: Steve Haag Sports/Gallo Images