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
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
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.