Eight Sharks in Bok squad

2010-12-02 00:00

PAT Lambie has been shifted to fullback and Elton Jantjies will start at flyhalf against the Barbarians at Twickenham on Saturday.

There is a strong Sharks presence in the Bok match squad with eight of John Plumtree’s Currie Cup champion team included in the starting line-up and three more named on the bench.

Sharks tighthead Jannie du Plessis yesterday joined the list of walking wounded and uncapped Blue Bulls prop Werner Kruger left for London last night and will be on the bench on Saturday. Du Plessis’s brother, hooker Bismarck du Plessis, is being rested after a tough tour.

There are three Springbok debutants in Sharks inside centre Andries Strauss, the 20-year-old Jantjies and prop Coenie Oosthuizen. Sharks scrumhalf Charl McLeod could make his debut off the bench.

Strauss, who has left Durban to rejoin Free State for the 2011 season, only joined the Boks yesterday as a replacement for the injured Zane Kirchner and De Villiers is obviously looking to him to bolster the defence.

Lambie, who was used at flyhalf in the closing minutes of three tight Test matches, deserved a start in the pivot role but he has paid the price for his versatility and he has been switched to fullback to provide Jantjies with his first run on tour.

The line-up shows 12 changes to the starting line-up fielded against England on Saturday with De Villiers giving game time to players who have spent the tour holding tackle bags.

Ruled out by fitness concerns are Victor Matfield, Jean de Villiers, Jannie and Bismarck du Plessis and Zane Kirchner. Frans Steyn and Ruan Pienaar have returned to their European clubs.

Sharks lock Alistair Hargreaves and wing Odwa Ndungane, a late replacement on tour, will have their first outings, while Lambie, Adi Jacobs, Willem Alberts, Adriaan Strauss and CJ van der Linde all make their first starts on tour.

Flank Keegan Daniel, one of the outstanding players in the Currie Cup, again loses out and provides back-up off the bench for the loose trio of new captain Juan Smith, Willem Alberts and Ryan Kankowski.

“The newcomers have been waiting for their chance and will bring energy and enthusiasm to the line-up at the end of a long season,” said De Villiers. “They have trained well and been patient throughout the tour and this is their chance to show what they can do.”

De Villiers described the two 20-year-olds, Lambie and Jantjies, as exciting talents. “By switching Lambie to fullback they both get maximum opportunity in the match,” said De Villiers. De Villiers said that Barbarian coach Nick Mallett would target his “untried backline combination”.

“But Juan Smith [Springbok captain] and the players are determined to maintain the improvements of this tour and this will be a fascinating contest.”

Mallett has also praised Lambie and Jantjies ahead of Saturday’s match. “Lambie had an outstanding Currie Cup final, but his forwards played a big role in that,” Mallett said.

“The one try that he scored — the show and go, going by himself and handing off Schalk Burger — was great flyhalf play.”

Mallett was critical at the way Lambie was used in the Tests.

“The Boks were clearly tempted to start him. He was under a lot of pressure because the game is often still in the balance when you come on with about 20 minutes to go. You can’t weigh up a player’s worth in the last 20 minutes of a game,” said Mallett.

“I have seen Jantjies play in the Currie Cup. The way he attacks is very dangerous. He is an elusive flyhalf. Obviously there is a question about size and how he will defend that channel.” By including the hard-tackling Strauss at inside centre, De Villiers has at least provided some defensive support for his young flyhalf.


Springbok team

15 - Patrick Lambie; 14 - Odwa Ndungane, 13 - Adi Jacobs, 12 - Andries Strauss, 11 - Lwazi Mvovo; 10 - Elton Jantjies, 9 - Francois Hougaard; 8 - Ryan Kankowski, 7 - Juan Smith (captain), 6 - Willem Alberts, 5 - Alistair Hargreaves, 4 - Bakkies Botha, 3 - CJ van der Linde, 2 - Adriaan Strauss, 1 - Coenie Oosthuizen.

Replacements: 16 - Bandise Maku, 17 - Tendai Mtawarira, 18 - Werner Kruger, 19 - Flip van der Merwe, 20 - Keegan Daniel, 21 - Charl McLeod, 22 - Gio Aplon. Kick-off: 4.30pm

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