HomeSportsRugbyMapimpi Laments Over The Absence Of Teammate Lukhanyo Am

Mapimpi Laments Over The Absence Of Teammate Lukhanyo Am

“When I open my phone in the morning before training I see people talking about me, and there is nothing wrong, though they have a lot to say about another person but that's all over the world."

Mapimpi Laments Over The Absence Of Teammate Lukhanyo Am - SurgeZirc SA
Mapimpi Laments Over The Absence Of Teammate Lukhanyo Am.

Makazole Mapimpi, one of the main winners at the Springbok Rugby World Cup (RWC) team announcement earlier this week, couldn’t hide his sadness in the aftermath of the announcement.

Mapimpi lamented the absence of his friend, teammate, and comrade Lukhanyo Am, who was ruled out due to a knee injury suffered against Argentina last weekend. A loss at the eleventh hour is typically more painful.

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Mapimpi wears his heart on his sleeve as well as his shirt.

“It is tough. It is a guy, I sleep next to him,” he said about him roommate. “He had the injury and the situation is very emotional. I share everything with him. We talk about everything. We are brothers. When he got injured he was very emotional.

“He has been doing well the last couple of seasons and was nominated as World Rugby player of the year. Now all of a sudden, last minute, he is injured. I hope he is going to get better soon and can be part of this squad,” said the Bok wing.

Mapimpi’s depressed mood was the opposite of what he had been feeling only an hour before.

When his name was read out as a member of the team to travel to France, the hundreds of people in attendance not only cheered loudly but there was also dancing in the aisles and possibly down adjacent Bram Fischer Drive.

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SA Rugby president Mark Alexander had to pause while waiting to cap Mapimpi as the uproar grew. This was an outpouring of love that the RWC champion was not prepared to escape from.

“I was surprised that when people saw me they were very happy. It is kind of nice. I have family and lots of people praying for me. I’m blessed, I need to keep going but I also need to also show people the love that they are showing me,” Mapimpi said.

Mapimpi, who became the first Springbok to score a try in a final during the 2019 season, will fly to France with pressure on his shoulders.

“Jeez, man, it is something I have been going through since Border and the (Southern) Kings, all of Super Rugby, then at the Springboks.

“I don’t put too much on myself. It is not about me but about the team. I put the team first, understand the game plan and am ready to deliver it.”

Mapimpi confesses he has no control over the criticism that has followed him throughout his career. He is aware, though, of people who support him and uses this as motivation to develop.

“I know nothing about people. I don’t hate people but it is a good thing for me just to express myself.

“When I open my phone in the morning before training I see people talking about me, and there is nothing wrong, though they have a lot to say about another person but that’s all over the world.

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“I can’t stop that, people can say what they want to say. I turn that negativity into energy. It is very good for me that I can turn that negativity into a positive mindset.

“All I can do is to focus and listen to what the coaches are saying. I try to block the noise from the outside, but it is very tough. I have to compete to stay number one so that people don’t have anything to say.”

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Elize Coetzee for SurgeZirc SA
Elize Coetzee for SurgeZirc SAhttps://new.surgezirc.co.za
Elize Coetzee, a seasoned journalist, is the driving force behind SurgeZirc SA’s world news and world politics coverage. With an unwavering commitment to truth, Elize delves into global affairs, providing live updates, in-depth investigations, and thought-provoking analysis. Whether it’s geopolitical tensions, international diplomacy, or breaking stories, Elize’s incisive reporting keeps readers informed and engaged.
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