Lambie ‘honoured to lead’

2015-02-11 00:00

AT just 24 years old, Pat Lambie has become one of the go-to-men in the Sharks setup and will play a big role as one of four leaders in the Durban outfit this year.

Speaking after a blistering hot training session yesterday, the flyhalf dissected his side’s preparedness for the Cheetahs this Saturday, while touching on their pre-season training and hit out against French club Toulon last week.

“It definitely won’t be as hot as this on Saturday at 5 pm — well we hope not at least,” Lambie joked.

“The idea behind it is to get all our work done by lunchtime so the guys can get the feet up in the afternoon and make something of their days as well.”

The hot and humid conditions also test handling skill, as the ball becomes wet in the moisture-filled air — all necessary ahead of their first home game.

“In the competition there are no easy games so it’s vital that you take advantage of your home games. It’s the first game of the season so I think everyone will be out to get a positive result to build some momentum and confidence.”

The Cheetahs are a new-look side after losing a number of players to other unions and overseas clubs but they pose a wildcard challenge — and have often pulled one over the Sharks in Durban.

Lambie highlighted their ability to play as a unit and their apparent affinity for trumping the Sharks at home.

“We’ll definitely have our work cut out for us but we’ve done our home work and are looking forward to the challenge.”

The Sharks certainly won’t be going into the game unprepared after a physical clash against Toulon.

“We can take a lot out of the [Toulon] game. It was a confidence booster going over there in those difficult conditions and coming away with a win. It’s a job done and we managed to get some game time under the belt.”

“It’s also nice to know where we stand, seeing little issues that need clearing up and putting in ­minor changes and improvements. Hopefully it puts us in good stead for Saturday.”

Lambie will have the added responsibility of ­helping guide his team-mates this weekend while Bismarck du Plessis is likely to start and captain the side. But the pivot said he was excited to continue his leadership role.

“I feel very honoured that I’ve been included as a leader. Last year I was in a similar position as a vice captain and helping with calling the plays. It’s something I really enjoy,” he said.

When asked how he, Tera Mtembu, Frans Steyn and Du Plessis would share the load, Lambie ­explained that each player would likely wear the ­captain’s armband during certain stages of the ­competition.

“Players are going to be rotated in and out of the squad — the nature of the competition is nonstop. We don’t have a break in June anymore, week in and week out there are no easy games, its very physical and fast. It’s going to be a squad that wins the competition, not a team of 15,” Lambie said.

“It’s important to have more than one leader out on the field and every one one of us will get the chance to possibly captain on a day or look after the forwards or backs. Day to day, we are the four guys who need make the important decisions and lead by example.”

With director of rugby Gary Gold promising a reformed Sharks’ playing style, Lambie hopes his side can take their performances one step further this year.

“Last year, we may not have scored as many tries as we would have liked but we managed to win some important games and made it to the semi-final. We want to take it a step further this year and our focus is on our intensity while playing a good brand of rugby. If we work hard enough, that will be the case.”

The Sharks host the Cheetahs at King’s Park on Saturday. Kickoff is at 5.05 pm.

The Sharks also named their 40-man Super Rugby squad late on Monday night.

Notable omissions through injury were Willem Alberts, Paul Jordaan, Tonderai Chavhanga, ­Stephan Lewies and JC Astle.

Alberts is expected to recover from an hamstring niggle in the next three to four weeks.

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