Lambie’s return a bonus for Plumtree

2011-08-03 00:00

SHARKS coach John Plumtree said yesterday he was “very surprised” that the 20-year-old Pat Lambie had been released by the Springboks and would be available for his Currie Cup side over the next few weeks.

Lambie was one of seven Springboks sent back to the Sharks by national coach Peter de Villiers and he is clearly not being considered for the Tri-Nations Test against the Wallabies in Durban on August 13.

The other released Sharks are Adrian Jacobs, Charl McLeod, Lwazi Mvovo, Odwa Ndungane, Alistair Hargreaves and Ryan Kankowski.

“Yeah, I was very surprised to get Pat back. I thought he went well against the All Blacks in the Wellington Test on Saturday, but I don’t know what the Springbok thinking is.

“I didn’t expect it, but it is a bonus for me having Pat back for the Currie Cup.”

Plumtree said drafting the returning Boks into the Sharks squad would not complicate his selection.

“It has made the squad better and provides me with options.”

But Plumtree said he would not be making too many changes to his unbeaten team for Friday night’s game against Griquas in Kimberley.

Two of the returning Springboks are not available, he added.

“Both Adi [Jacobs] and Alistair [Hargreaves] are nursing injuries.”

He said he wanted to reward those young players who had performed admirably in the opening three games and the Boks are likely to be integrated off the bench.

He would not be drawn on possible changes.

“You’ll have to wait until the team is announced tomorrow,” he said.

“It is about making sure that those who have done really well for me are rewarded. They’ll get another opportunity this week.”

Plumtree said he had been encouraged by the performances of the young players, particularly among the forwards, and this had added to the depth of the squad for both the Currie Cup and next year’s Super Rugby competition.

He said that young wings Mark Richards and Sibusiso Sithole, impressive in the weekend win over the Cheetahs, would be retained.

With Springbok Lwazi Mvovo also returning, another Test wing, Odwa Ndungane, “is one that’s not going to be used this week.”

The indications are that the remaining four Boks — Lambie, Mvovo, McLeod and Kankowski — would be used off the bench against Griquas.

Also missing this week is lock Ross Skeate who left the field with a groin problem against the Cheetahs on Saturday.

Jandre Marais — his younger brother Peet is likely to be on the bench — will partner Anton Bresler in the second-row on Friday.

“The injuries to Hargreaves and Skeate has put a bit of pressure on our locking department … but we’ve got a couple of youngsters here who are really keen to have a go,” Plumtree said.

Friday’s game against Griquas kicks off at

7.10 pm and Lesego Legoete is the referee.

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