Boks: Burden, Mvovo off as Lambie yearns for some game time

2012-09-19 00:00

WHILE the frustrated Pat Lambie will spend another weekend on the sidelines, wing Lwazi Mvovo and hooker Craig Burden were yesterday released to the Sharks by Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer.

The pair will be available for the Sharks’ top-of-the-log clash against the Golden Lions at Ellis Park on Saturday night but Lambie, who has played just 18 minutes of rugby over the past seven weeks, will remain on the sidelines.

Lambie has been on the Springbok bench throughout the Rugby Championship. He was not given a run in the home and away internationals against Argentina and then saw just 10 minutes of action against Australia and eight against New Zealand on Saturday.

Lambie was uncharacteristically outspoken last week when he startled rugby journalists in New Zealand by voicing his frustrations, pointing out that he had played only 10 minutes of rugby in six weeks.

And yesterday coach John Plumtree echoed his views.

“I think Pat Lambie is pretty desperate for some game time,” Plumtree said. “I think there might be one or two others like him as well.

“So it is a little bit frustrating but those are the decisions of the Springbok management.”

Meyer has refused to release any of the 22 players who were on duty in Dunedin and certainly those in the starting line-up are in need of a break.

The five players returning to their provinces are Burden and Mvovo, Frans Malherbe (Western Province), Jacques Potgieter (Blue Bulls) and Jano Vermaak (Blue Bulls).

A sixth player in the tour squad of 28 but not part of the match 22 in Dunedin, prop Pat Cilliers (Golden Lions), is currently injured and not available for selection this weekend.

A Springbok squad of 30 players for the final two Tests in the Rugby Championship — on September 29 against the Wallabies and on October 6 against New Zealand at Soccer City — will be announced on Saturday night.

Lambie, however, will now be hoping that the Boks’ disjointed, unimaginative backline play throughout the Rugby Championship will result in him finally being called up for the Test against Australia in Pretoria next weekend.

Burden, who has clocked many thousands of voyager miles on his travels to Argentina, Australia and New Zealand without even making the replacement bench, will be even more frustrated at having come so close to winning his Springbok colours.

Plumtree welcomed the return of Mvovo and Burden.

“They always add value and both are two great players,” Plumtree said.

Both centre Paul Jordaan and lock Steven Sykes, over their injuries, are also back.

Meanwhile, fullback Jaco Taute has denied a Lions team statement on Monday that he would miss the game with a wrist injury. “I’m not sure what that’s about. I took part in full training and I’m fit,” he said.

The match kicks off at 7.10 pm and Jason Jaftha will be the referee.

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