Tri-Nations

Jones: Dropping Lambie harsh

2011-08-08 14:00
Eddie Jones (AP Photo)

Tokyo - Former Wallaby coach Eddie Jones has criticised the Springbok coaching staff for dropping Patrick Lambie and for playing him at flyhalf against the All Blacks.

The former Springbok assistant coach, who was part of the Springboks successful 2007 Rugby World Cup campaign, has come out in support of the versatile young Springbok.

The Springbok management left Lambie out of their 24-man squad for the home leg of the Tri-Nations, releasing him to the Sharks for Currie Cup duty last week, despite Peter de Villiers calling him “the future of Springbok rugby” before the Springbok Test against the All Blacks in Wellington.

Speaking from Jake White’s RugbyXV website, Jones said he felt the player had been treated unfairly.

“I can't work out why the Boks dropped Pat Lambie. For me, Lambie looks more like a 15 at this stage of his career. He's definitely not a 10 at this point in his development. To play him at 10 behind a weakened pack against the All Blacks away, and then leave him out is a bit harsh for me.”

Jones believed that Lambie’s exciting attacking talents could be best utilised if he was given more space to run the ball and said that the  Bok management would be making a mistake if they left him out of their World Cup squad selection.

“He could start at 15 in this World Cup and the next and do very well for the Boks. He reminds me of Kurtley Beale in many ways - who also started his career at 10 but was exposed a little there. They're both instinctive runners from the back and are dangerous. I'd definitely have Lambie in my 30-man World Cup squad.”

Looking ahead against the Boks Test against the Wallabies in Durban, Jones fired a warning to the Springboks:

“Australian sides traditionally play well after a loss. They very rarely play two bad Tests consecutively - that's part of their mentality.”

“The first 20 minutes will key, and Australia will be very physical. They'll be up for it after being embarrassed by the All Blacks.”

“The gain line battle will decide the result. If the Boks aren't on top of their game, they could be in for a long day.”

The Springboks face Australia in their third Tri-Nations clash of the year at 17:05 in Durban on Saturday.

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