World Cup winner Makazole Mapimpi back in SA on Friday evening
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DURBAN – The good news for both the Sharks and the Springboks is that World Cup-winner Makazole Mapimpi arrives back in South Africa from Japan on Friday evening and will soon be in action.
The try-scoring machine’s contract with the Sharks allows for an annual sabbatical in Japan and now that his duties at the Docomo Red Hurricanes — coached by former Lions boss Johan Ackermann — are over, he is returning to Durban.
Sharks coach Sean Everitt said that Mapimpi will be evaluated and if he is good to go, he could soon be in Rainbow Cup action.
“Makazola arrives home on Friday evening so he can’t be considered for this week,” Everitt said. “We will do a medical on him on Monday and see where he is at, then look at his playing minutes, and that will determine whether or not he plays next week (in the Sharks’ home game against the Bulls).”
Mapimpi will surely retain his place in the Springbok team for the series against the British and Irish Lions, despite hot competition in the wing department, including Sharks teammate Sbu Nkosi, and it is helpful for Bok coach Jacques Nienaber to have the opportunity to see Mapimpi in action in the Rainbow Cup, playing with and against many of his Bok teammates.
Mapimpi has an incredible strike rate — 14 tries in his 14 Tests — and his return to the South African fold is a big boost.
The Sharks’ depth at wing is seriously impressive — besides Mapimpi, Nkosi and Yaw Penxe, Everitt has a number of young wingers coming through.