Is There A Better Centre In World Rugby Than Lukhanyo Am?
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Any discussion regarding whether Lukhanyo Am is currently the best centre in world rugby will be left to everyone else to decide but the player. Indeed, along with being one of the standout performers in his position anywhere in the world, Am is also one of the most humble professionals in any sporting code.
Essentially, you will never find the quiet 28-year-old touting his own abilities as he prefers to let his actions do the talking on the pitch.
That has, at least, been the theme of his career so far and you would have to say that it is an approach that has already paid huge dividends after winning the World Cup with the Springboks in 2019. Incredibly, Am could be a double World Cup winner by the age of 30 with South Africa at just 5/1 in the last rugby betting to go all the way in France in 2023.
LUKHANYO AM!🔥@Vodacom #URC #BULvSHA #SSRugby pic.twitter.com/07jVeGBwMv
— vodacomrugby (@VodacomRugga) February 12, 2022
Encouragingly for the Springboks, this is something that they’ve been able to achieve in the past after winning the 2007 Rugby World Cup final against England at the Stade de France. It was indeed a night to remember for those back home in the Rainbow Nation as their heroes became champions of the world in Paris.
History beckons once more for South Africa and you would have to admit that if Lukhanyo Am is able to keep performing at this level then the Springboks could well defend their World Cup title. Indeed, the captain of the Sharks is currently playing at a level that few centres in the world can match.
Although it should be said that Am has been on this trajectory for the last few years and if we were to cast our minds back to the 2019 World Cup final in which the Springboks beat England 32-12, then we will see that the man from South Africa’s Eastern Cape has been delivering game-changing performances for the last three years.
Tonight’s Vodacom URC Player of The Match, Lukhanyo Am 🔥#OurSharksForever #TacklingNewShores Vodacom #URC #BULvSHA pic.twitter.com/EWSPZgKOrw
— The Sharks (@SharksRugby) February 12, 2022
In fact, it’s probably safe to say that when Am does retire, most South African fans’ abiding memory of him will be his selfless offload to Makazole Mapimpi that resulted in the Boks scoring their first try at a World Cup final in their history.
A historic moment. @Springboks first Rugby World Cup Final try and what a score it was.
Mapimpi 🔁 AM#RWC2019 #RWCFinal pic.twitter.com/6j2TqlDn1q
— Rugby World Cup (@rugbyworldcup) November 4, 2019
Watch that video back and you won’t find a better example of what Am brings to any team he plays in as he always puts the interests of the collective before his own. That night in Yokohama set the tone for what was to come in his career and in 2021, Am completed the rare feat of winning a World Cup and also beating the British and Irish Lions.
In many ways, once you have done that then there isn’t much left to win in the game of rugby but Am’s sensational form for his domestic franchise proves that he still has the hunger to add more silverware to his name.
It has been three years of jaw-dropping accomplishments that have elevated Lukhanyo Am into a league of his own. Of course, he’ll never say it but he is comfortably the best centre in world rugby at this moment in time.