Pat gets two contracts

2014-01-25 00:00

Springbok Rugby

IT has been a week of good news and contracts for Sharks and Springbok flyhalf Pat Lambie.

The 23-year-old flyhalf married Kate Symons at Michaelhouse last Saturday and yesterday the South African Rugby Union (Saru) confirmed that Lambie was one of a new group of seven players to receive Springbok contracts.

The talented Lambie was last year surprisingly excluded from the initial list of 10 contracted players. But yesterday he and Sharks team-mate, flank Marcell Coetzee, were added to the list.

The other five are fullback/wing Willie le Roux, Bulls scrumhalf Francois Hougaard, centre J.J. Engelbrecht, Cheetahs prop Coenie Oosthuizen and Bulls lock Flip van der Merwe.

There will be some concern that the exciting Sharks lock/flank Pieter-Steph du Toit is not among the contracted players. Du Toit, man of the match in the Currie Cup final at Newlands last October, has only played two Tests, but he is considered one of the brightest prospects in world rugby.

Saru, in making a determined bid to keep leading players in South Africa ahead of the 2015 Rugby World Cup in England, have not contracted any overseas-based players, such as Bryan Habana, Fourie du Preez, Francois Louw, Jaque Fourie, Ruan Pienaar and Morné Steyn.

The good news is that Sharks wing J.P. Pietersen, currently playing in Japan and due back in Durban next month, has now committed himself to the Springboks and he has been contracted for 2015.

Jurie Roux, CEO of Saru, confirmed that Bok coach Heyneke Meyer could contract additional players if he wished.

“I am delighted that we have been able to conclude the contracting of a core Springbok group so early in the year,” said Roux. “In the past, discussions have gone on for some months for different reasons at different times. We invariably reached agreement, but we are pleased to have been able to conclude this very important matter so early in the year. The core group of Springboks are now nationally contracted, which bodes well for the next two seasons as we step up preparations for the Rugby World Cup in England in 2015.”

There are seven Sharks among the contracted 17 players.

The full Springbok contracted group (in positions provided by Saru): Marcell Coetzee (loose forward), J.J. Engelbrecht (centre/wing), Francois Hougaard (scrumhalf), Patrick Lambie (flyhalf/fullback), Willie le Roux (fullback/wing), Coenie Oosthuizen (prop), Flip van der Merwe (lock), Willem Alberts (loose forward), Jean de Villiers (centre), Bismarck du Plessis (hooker), Jannie du Plessis (prop), Eben Etzebeth (lock), Siya Kolisi (loose-forward), Tendai Mtawarira (prop), Frans Steyn (utility back), Adriaan Strauss (hooker), Duane Vermeulen (number eight).

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