Jake White told me to do my thing, says Bulls back James Verity-Amm
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CAPE TOWN - Growing up in the Western Cape, James Verity-Amm admits that he didn't expect to play for the Bulls one day.
Having attended Hottentots Holland High School in Somerset West, Verity-Amm followed the Stormers as a youngster, and even played junior rugby for Western Province.
But following a stint playing for the University of the Western Cape (UWC) on a bursary, the 26-year-old full-back made his way to Australia to join the Western Force academy, where he also made his Super Rugby debut in 2017.
After the Perth side was axed from the competition, Verity-Amm moved to the Brumbies, but two shoulder surgeries ruled him out for a year, and he had to return to South Africa.
He was snapped up by Griquas last season, and attracted the attention of Bulls coach Jake White in the Super Rugby Unlocked and Currie Cup tournaments – particularly when he scored two tries at Loftus Versfeld.
Verity-Amm made his Bulls debut in the opening match against the Lions two weeks ago, where he put in a trademark performance. His field positioning is arguably his strongest asset, and he seems to have time on the ball on attack, while also possessing a good kicking game.
He has the pace to come into the line on attack as well – he has also played at wing and outside centre before.
But he had to relinquish the No 15 jersey back to regular Bulls starter David Kriel for the 20-16 victory over the Stormers last week, although he came on off the bench.
“I think it's competitive across the pitch at the moment. We've got great players in all positions, which is amazing for training,” Verity-Amm said ahead of Saturday's Rainbow Cup SA clash against the Sharks at Loftus Versfeld (6.15pm kick-off).
“And obviously working with Jake is fantastic. He's a great coach.
He's been around the block, he knows what he's doing. And I feel like he could absolutely get the best out of me and my game.
“Before the Lions game, he was very encouraging. He let me know that he picked me for a reason to play that game, and just backed me 100% and told me to go out there and do my thing and play rugby.
“It's always great to have that backing from the coach, and to see that he has confidence in you.”
He will hope to get more game time against the log-leading Sharks, who have the exciting Aphelele Fassi spearheading their attack from full-back.
“They (Sharks) have been playing a very attacking brand of rugby lately. They are mixing it up a bit with their kicking game, but they are pretty dangerous on attack,” said Verity-Amm.
“But at the end of the day, we are always going to back ourselves going into a clash like that. We got the upper hand the last time (in the Currie Cup final), so more of the same this weekend. We're going to go into the game confident that we can win.”