Battle of the teens awaits
Elton Jantjes and Patrick Lambie. (File)
Johannesburg – Patrick Lambie against Elton Jantjes.
That is the intriguing battle of the flyhalves that may be fought in Saturday’s Currie Cup match between the Sharks and Lions in Durban.
If the ages of the two 19-year-olds are added up, it amounts to just three more years than Sharks captain Stefan Terblanche.
Sharks coach John Plumtree spoke to Lambie on Tuesday about the expected move to flyhalf.
“We realise he has already played fullback and centre for us and I will have a word with him before we pick the side,” said Plumtree.
Lambie is just happy to be able to play, irrespective of the position. He played flyhalf as a schoolboy at Michaelhouse and it is his favourite position.
Sharks assistant coach Hugh Reece-Edwards has said for a while that he believes Lambie will be best at No 10.
“He has all the skills required for a flyhalf. He runs superb lines, kicks the ball very well and his defence is very good,” said Plumtree.
If Lambie is announced as the flyhalf on Thursday, it will set up a terrific showdown between two of the country’s top youngsters.
Jantjes is viewed as the future of Lions rugby and this match may well be the start of competition between the two that can only be good for South African rugby.
Andries Strauss or Riaan Swanepoel can slot in at centre to cover for Lambie.
It is now also certain that Ruan Pienaar has played his last game for the Sharks, with his shoulder injury set to sideline him for at least six weeks.
He will join up with Irish side Ulster come the end of the month.
Flyhalf Steve Meyer’s season is also over and he will have to undergo surgery to repair knee ligaments.
Jannie and Bismarck du Plessis may both be picked in the 22-man squad.