Lambie in a good space despite injuries
Durban - Pat Lambie is back, and the timing couldn't be better for the Sharks.
Since he fractured a vertebra against the Waratahs back on March 11, Lambie has looked on as Curwin Bosch has thrived at flyhalf.
But now, with Bosch on SA Under-20 duty through to the end of the World Rugby Under-20 Championship in mid-June, the Sharks will be looking to their captain once more.
Lambie has had a torrid time with injuries over the past few seasons, and he acknowledged that this last one was a strong mental test.
"It was quite a challenge. I had a few bad days after it happened where I had those questions: Why me? What am I doing wrong?" Lambie said from Durban on Thursday.
"But I'm lucky. I've had a very good medical team and the coaches have all been very supportive. I've been in a good space and a good frame of mind."
The 26-year-old revealed that he had to wear a corset in the early weeks of his recover, which he says wasn't pleasant, but that once he was back in the gym he started feeling positive again.
"I've been very lucky with all of the injuries that I've had in that none of them have given me any complications," he said.
"I've completely recovered and have been healed from all of them, including this one."
On the Sharks' form since he last played, Lambie said there had been a fair amount of inconsistency.
"There have been some good weeks and some not-so-good weeks, but all in all I've been very pleased to see how the side has been tracking," he said.
"We really want to build some nice momentum before the June break. We've got a few tough games ahead but I think if we put in some good performances we can be in a good position for the international window.
"It's really nice to be back. It's never nice sitting on the sidelines and thankfully it went relatively quickly. It's been great to be back with the team again for the last couple of weeks."
Lambie's first assignment will be help secure a victory against the Kings in Port Elizabeth on Saturday.
Kick-off is at 17:15.
15 Masixole Banda, 14 Wandile Mjekevu, 13 Berton Klaasen, 12 Luzuko Vulindlu, 11 Makazole Mapimpi, 10 Lionel Cronje (captain), 9 Louis Schreuder, 8 Andisa Ntsila, 7 Tyler Paul, 6 Chris Cloete, 5 Wilhelm van der Sluys, 4 Irne Herbst, 3 Ross Geldenhuys, 2 Martin Bezuidenhout, 1 Schalk van der Merwe
Substitutes: 16 Kurt Haupt/Tango Balekile, 17 Chris Heiberg 18 Dayan van der Westhuizen, 19 Lubabalo Mtyanda, 20 Stefaan Willemse, 21 Johan Steyn, 22 Nicolaas Hanekom, 23 Pieter-Steyn de Wet
15 Rhyno Smith, 14 Kobus van Wyk, 13 Lukhanyo Am, 12 Jeremy Ward, 11 Lwazi Mvovo, 10 Patrick Lambie (captain), 9 Michael Claassens, 8 Daniel du Preez, 7 Jean-Luc du Preez, 6 Philip van der Walt, 5 Ruan Botha, 4 Etienne Oosthuizen, 3 Coenie Oosthuizen, 2 Franco Marais, 1 Tendai Mtawarira
Substitutes: 16 Chiliboy Ralepelle, 17 Thomas du Toit, 18 Lourens Adriaanse, 19 Stephan Lewies, 20 Tera Mtembu, 21 Cobus Reinach, 22 Garth April, 23 S’busiso Nkosi