Lambie is back for Blues tie

2012-04-12 00:00

PAT Lambie returns to the Sharks line-up for tomorrow’s Super Rugby outing against the Blues in Auckland but robust Springbok hooker Bismarck du Plessis is on his way home because of injury.

Lambie, troubled by a jaw problem, has missed the Sharks’ last two games but he returns at flyhalf in place of Frederic Michalak who drops to the bench.

The return of Lambie at flyhalf will add rhythm and slickness to a Sharks backline, which has lacked cohesion over the past fortnight, while he will also improve the defence.

Coach John Plumtree had planned to field Bismarck du Plessis against the Blues after he started off the bench against the Hurricanes but a thigh muscle injury has now ruled him out and Craig Burden will again start at hooker. Kyle Cooper has been rushed to Auckland to join the Sharks bench.

Plumtree has made two other changes with Jean Deysel taking over from Willem Alberts on the flank while Anton Bresler replaces Jandre Marais at lock.

The Blues have been boosted by the return of the Braid brothers who are back in harness together for the first time in a month.

Daniel Braid missed their loss to the Rebels in Melbourne last week because of illness, while brother Luke has been on a three-week suspension following the Stormers game at Newlands.

“It’s good to have both Braid brothers returning. Luke’s work ethic and experience at the breakdown working alongside Dan is crucial to our game,” coach Pat Lam said yesterday.

Chris Lowrey shifts to number eight where he takes over from the injured Brad Mika.

All Blacks lock Ali Williams has been dropped to the bench and he is replaced by rookie Liaki Moli in the second row.

“Ali has started every game and he’s working himself into some good rugby but we need some fresh legs. Ali coming off the bench will give us that leadership at a crucial time in the match,” Lam said.

“Liaki and Filo Paulo have taken their opportunities when on the field. They provide fresh legs and energy and deserve their starting spots.”

Hadleigh Parkes on the right wing also has his first start of the season.

“He is a real workhorse,” said Lam, “with a good boot on him and will give everything for the team out there. He’s thrilled to be starting and will bring plenty of energy to what’s going to be a very tough encounter.”

The out-of-condition All Black halfback Piri Weepu remains on the bench.

Kick-off is at 9.35 am tomorrow (SA time) and experienced New Zealander Steve Walsh, who is based in Australia, will referee the game.

TEAMS

Sharks: 15 Riaan Viljoen, 14 Louis Ludik, 13 JP Pietersen, 12 Tim Whitehead, 11 Lwazi Mvovo, 10 Pat Lambie, 9 Charl McLeod, 8 Keegan Daniel (c),

7 Jean Deysel, 6 Marcell Coetzee, 5 Anton Bresler, 4 Steven Sykes, 3 Jannie du Plessis, 2 Craig Burden, 1 Dale Chadwick.

Replacements: 16 Kyle Cooper, 17 Wiehahn Herbst, 18 Jandre Marais, 19 Willem Alberts, 20 Jacques Botes, 21 Meyer Bosman, 22 Frederic Michalak.

Blues: 15 Rudi Wulf, 14 Hadleigh Parkes, 13 Benson Stanley, 12 Ma’a Nonu, 11 Rene Ranger, 10 Gareth Anscombe, 9 Alby Mathewson, 8 Chris Lowrey, 7 Daniel Braid, 6 Luke Braid, 5 Liaki Moli, 4 Filo Paulo, 3 Charlie Faumuina, 2 Keven Mealamu, 1 Tony Woodcock.

Replacements: 16 Tom McCartney, 17 Tevita Mailau, 18 Ali Williams, 19 Peter Saili, 20 Piri Weepu, 21 Michael Hobbs, 22 George Moala.

Sharks XV coach Sean Everitt will be missing 10 players for Saturday’s Vodacom Cup clash against Boland Cavaliers in Malmesbury (4.00 pm)

Pieter-Steph du Toit, Allan Dell, Nicolaas van Dyk, Franco Marais, Khaya Majola and Braam Steyn are all with the SA Under 20s, while Kyle Cooper has joined up with the Sharks in Auckland along with two other Sharks XV candidates in Paul Jordaan and Nick Schonert.

Sharks XV: 15. Gouws Prinsloo 14. S’bura Sithole 13. Wandile Mjekevu 12. Heimar Williams 11. Rosko Specman 10. Gavin Hauptfliesch 9. Cobus Reinach 8. Lubabalo Mtembu (captain) 7. Brynard Stander 6. Francois Kleinhans 5. Peet Marais 4. Brendan Groenewald 3. Francois Hanekom 2. Monde Hadebe 1. Danie Mienie Replacements: 16. Dean Muir 17. Kurt Schonert 18. Stefan Lewies 19. Chris Cloete 20. Shannon Rick 21. Piet Lindeque 22. Jaco van Tonder.

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