Lambie expected to take over at flyhalf

2012-11-07 00:00

PAT Lambie is expected to finally come in from the cold and take over the flyhalf position for Saturday’s Test against Ireland in Dublin.

Lambie, regarded by coach Heyneke Meyer as a second choice fullback (to Zane Kirchner), has spent most of the international season sitting on the Springbok bench.

But Meyer has undergone a change of heart and Lambie’s excellent form in the final weeks of the Currie Cup should see him at flyhalf against Ireland, taking over from the young Johan Goosen who was injured in the Boks’ last Test against the All Blacks in Soweto.

Lambie was listed at fullback when the tour squad was originally named with Morné Steyn and Elton Jantjies the flyhalves.

But Meyer said that Lambie would be used on flyhalf on tour and he has reportedly been running in that position at the Bok practices this week.

Meyer said that he was spoilt for choice at flyhalf, but wanted to settle quickly on the top two in every position.

“We probably have the best generation of young flyhalves in South Africa in the past decade.

“They just need to get chances,” said Meyer, referring to Lambie, Jantjies and the injured Johan Goosen.

“The big test is to play in conditions like we’ll be encountering now. All three of them are good runners and ball distributors. However, it is important, with the 2015 World Cup in mind, that they can play a clever tactical game.”

Meyer said that it has been Lambie’s improved tactical kicning and his awareness which has most impressed him in recent weeks.

The Test team for Saturday will be named today and Meyer, if he keeps to his word, could also make a change at fullback with Jaco Taute taking over from the workmanlike and steady rather than brilliant Kirchner.

This would allow Juan de Jongh to join his Western Province team-mate Jean de Villiers in midfield.

In-form Sharks wing JP Pietersen — who missed the Rugby Championship because of a fractured thumb — will obviously take over from the injured Bryan Habana.

Young Free Stater Raymond Rhule, who turned 20 yesterday, would be an exciting choice on the other wing, but Meyer is expecrted to stay with the experience of Francois Hougaard.

The pack will also have a familiar look and dynamic Saracens hooker Schalk Britz seems certain to play off the bench rather than start in place of Adriaan Strauss. There is still some concern over flank Francois Louw (neck injury) and Marcell Coetzee could well start in his place.

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