Lambie the next Russell?

2011-08-16 22:19

Cape Town - Peter de Villiers has assured newly selected Springbok fullback, Patrick Lambie, that there's no chance of him being shifted around in the Springbok backline during Saturday's Castle Tri-Nations clash against the All Blacks in Port Elizabeth.

Which is a relief given the various jerseys the gifted young player has donned in recent weeks. Having seen the movie in which players are used in every position except scrumhalf (except in the case of Ruan Pienaar, another player often played out of position) before, a repeat of what happened to former Springbok utility back, Brent Russell, is something all Springbok fans would want to avoid.

It seems these days that a players versatility, while useful when putting together a substitutes bench, can often count against permanent selection into the run on side. Current players that have the potential to fall into that trap include Lambie, Pienaar, Francois Hougaard and Danie Rossouw, while John Smit, recently voted by Sports Illustrated as the greatest Springbok ever, may well be remembered by some as a poor prop!

WIN your very own personalised Bok jersey

Click to BUY John Smit’s Captain in the Cauldron book

Lambie was surprisingly included at fullback ahead of Gio Aplon when Bok coach Peter de Villiers announced his team on Tuesday.

The Bok coaches have given the Sharks ace the assurance that he will play only at fullback for the Boks in Saturday's clash at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium.

Lambie has admitted that it was a bit of a surprise, but indeed a very pleasant one.

"I'm without a doubt playing fullback. There's no chance of me shifting to flyhalf. I'm really looking forward to it and believe it will be a nice challenge," Lambie told Die Burger newspaper.

Lambie played most of his rugby at fullback as a junior and is not worried about the prospect of playing a Test against the All Blacks in the No 15 jumper.

"I enjoy the challenge of the different roles of a flyhalf and a fullback, but I was a fullback before I started playing flyhalf. At school and just afterwards I made all the representative teams as a fullback. I'm relatively comfortable there," said Lambie.

He will also be looking to cement his place in the South African squad for the World Cup in New Zealand.

"I wouldn't say I'm already focusing on the World Cup tournament. I'm only focusing on this weekend, and if everything goes well, hopefully I'll be in the squad.

"This weekend's performance could determine if that will be the case (if he makes the World Cup squad)," said Lambie.

The Test at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium will also hold a special significance for the multi-talented KwaZulu-Natalian as it will be his first Test on home soil.


South Africa:
15 Pat Lambie, 14 JP Pietersen, 13 Jaque Fourie, 12 Jean de Villiers, 11 Bryan Habana, 10 Morne Steyn, 9 Fourie du Preez, 8 Pierre Spies, 7 Willem Alberts, 6 Heinrich Brüssow, 5 Victor Matfield (captain), 4 Bakkies Botha, 3 Jannie du Plessis, 2 Bismarck du Plessis, 1 Gurthro Steenkamp

Substitutes: 16 John Smit, Tendai Mtawarira, CJ van der Linde, Danie Rossouw, Ashley Johnson, Francois Hougaard, Butch James

New Zealand:


  • Stox - 2011-08-16 22:50

    Should be interesting to see... Make us proud Mr Lambs.

      Bulldozer - 2011-08-17 06:30

      I would've loved to see Earl at fullback.

      Danny - 2011-08-17 07:53

      Bulldozer, rather put Div helium at fullback LoL

      Netherlands - 2011-08-17 08:30

      AM A HAPPY CHAPPY!!! Apolon was and WILL NEVER be a Springbok Full Back! Lambie, go make this YOUR POSITION!!!!!!! 'Dozer.... Earl was left BACK IN THE CLUBHOUSE!!! FULL STOP!

      jk - 2011-08-17 08:39

      or his sister berta- you mos know her dozer...

      Bulldozer - 2011-08-17 08:47

      Ja jk, ek ken jou ma, Earl se suster.

      patch - 2011-08-17 08:49

      @Bulldozer Troll much? :|

      StBad - 2011-08-17 09:05

      @Bulldozer: PdV should clone him...

      Bulldozer - 2011-08-17 09:13

      St.Bad, imagine 22 Earls on the field at once.

      AmandaWhereTo - 2011-08-17 12:39

      I think Mr Dozer was talking tongue in cheek ;) I would like to see Earl at tight-head more than I'd like to see him at fullback. Only because I'll get to see him smeared by an All Black pack :D No offense Earl.

      Bulldozer - 2011-08-17 12:48

      Amanda, I don't do 'tongue in cheek'.

      Barry Edwards - 2011-08-17 19:47

      Bulldozer just has too many Brandy and cokes. Simple as that

  • Al Fraser - 2011-08-16 23:01

    A perfect chance for Lambie to get into the World Cup squad. This kid's hungry and wants to play!!! Hopefully his youthful exuberance rubs off on his teamates. I'm sure he'll make us proud!

  • Roman Moroni - 2011-08-17 02:49

    NZ 30- RSA 10

      Peter Britz - 2011-08-17 07:26

      Nice, but you made typo.... you put a "i" at the end of your last name!!

      Howzitekse - 2011-08-17 11:19

      How the hell do you expect that team to get 10 points? It implies that they will score a try. Hahahaha. You are an optimist Roman. Keep the Faith!!!

  • slg - 2011-08-17 03:29

    It's obvious what's likely to happen. The coaches are still experimenting. It's too late to be doing this. SA are likely to bomb out either in the pool stages or quarter-finals. Then the coaches will ask for another four years to groom the newer players for next world cup.

      BardofAvon - 2011-08-17 07:39

      sig: I agree with on the one hand, but on the other hand the TN3 has successfully been used by the asst. coach (Div) to experiment with options. For me though the real risk is the winning habit is not entrenched right now. If the Boks can beat the ABs on Saturday (yes, it is a weakened AB team) that will be a huge step in the right direction, and the asst. coach will have his team in place for the RWC.

      TheDuck - 2011-08-17 08:28

      We have lost the last 8 Tri Nations games Bard the retard.

  • haha - 2011-08-17 06:19

    If only Habana was not there I would've been almost happy with the starting team. I would also drop Morne Steyn to the bench and drop John Smit completely. He was a legend but is fast becoming an embarrassment to SA Rugby, but definitely too late to drop him now.

  • Proudly SA - 2011-08-17 06:33

    good team; Lambie is a real star; only change would be to play Beast instead of guthro who always excels for Bulls but goes to sleep as a bok; a fit Frans Steyn at 12 even though he is looking more like a prop or lock at moment; Keep Butch on the bench for now.

      kosie - 2011-08-17 09:23

      after this game your going to say, bring butch back.. watch this space

      Travis - 2011-08-17 13:08

      I would really like to see a fit F Steyn at 12. We need a new dimension there, and he was immense in 2007 at the inside centre role. Not keen on Gurthro, M Steyn or D Rossouw

      Proudly SA - 2011-08-18 06:21

      Kosie - agree Butch is much better flyhalf but suggest keeping him out of main games to world cup; Morne Steyn is a good kicker but currently far from best flyhalf; Ruan Pienaar is a better flyhalf and pity Peter Grant not available, Pat Lambie significantly better as well.

  • Mike@CapeT - 2011-08-17 06:45

    I am pleased Lambie is in at fullback...I don't want to see him at flyhalf, the former position is his best and that is where he must try and make his mark.

      Durasmart - 2011-08-17 07:56

      Agree 100%. I have always said that Lambie is a fullback who Plumtree was forced to change into a flyhalf due to injuries to his first choice flyhalves at the time. He will never be as good a flyhalf as he is at fullback. Pick him at fullback and leave him there and he will probably become a Springbok great.

  • - 2011-08-17 07:04

    Have no clue why Morne Steyn is in that side, just another player who kick's the ball to the the opposition. Lambie at Flyhalf , Aplon at Fullback.

      Coach18 - 2011-08-17 08:26

      You clearly dont know rugby, Lambie is no fly half he creates more oppertunities coming into the line than being first reciever, in TEST rugby on needs a kicker to be able to point POINTS on the board. To be able to kick his team in to a territorial advantage and be able to compete in the set pieces. with a DECENT half back (not poephol pinaar) steyn can do his job behind a PROPER pack of forwards who will look after their pivot, that is their job to give him free range to unleash the backs. - 2011-08-17 08:50

      Thats just it , Steyn does not unleash his back line, his distribution sucks and his kicking has been kuk this year. If you knew anything about rugby or have watched rugby for the past couple of months, you would be able to see that our scrum and our fowards WILL be on the back foot on saterday. A great flyhalf never needs his pack to dominate to show his class. Steyn is an average flyhalf, Lambie has quick hands and is an attacking flyhalf wether his behind a dominating pack or not.

      Hanno - 2011-08-17 09:14

      Sure vallem, and the Springbok backline looked very dangerous and scored lots of tries when Lambie was the flyhalf against the All Blacks andf Butch against the Aussies? Not!! So I am not convinced anymore that it is Morne Steyn that is the problem. The common factor here is no gameplan, and that is the fault of the coaches, not of any of these three flyhalves. Lambie will be a much better full-back if they make it his position and not always shift him around.

      Travis - 2011-08-17 13:15

      @Hanno...I disagree, mate. Lambie played flyhalf behind a poor pack, and still managed to get some zip from the backs, something that M Steyn has not done all season. Not only is Steyn not getting the backline going, but his defence has been noticeable by its absence...not good enough at any level, never mind test level. I think that Pienaar did well in his second test, and wasn't that bad in the first, so I am pointing fingers at M Steyn. I would like to say that he should be kept on the bench in case we have kicking hassles, but I think that the cost of having a non-defending, non-attacking, all-I-can-do-is-kick-the-ball-away flyhalf is not worth it.

  • Magmansa - 2011-08-17 07:24

    Speaking of Brent Russell, how is he playing these days? Last I heard he was doing quite well in the UK.

  • BardofAvon - 2011-08-17 07:34

    Now follow thru, Bambi!

      ZotBot - 2011-08-17 09:20

      Wooly Lamb - have you seen how fluffy his hair is ???

  • Sparky - 2011-08-17 07:38

    Some youngsters to give a go after world cup. 1. Connie 2. Bismark 3. Jannie 4. Mostert/Elstart 5. Bekker 6. Brussouw 7. Coetzee 8. Spies 9. Hougaart 10. Sias Eberson/Lambie 11. Mvovo 12. Lambie/Frans Styne 13. De Jonge/Robert Eberson 14. Pietersen 15. Frans Styne/Taute

      Bulldozer - 2011-08-17 08:19

      Who is Frans Styne, idiot?

      Henk - 2011-08-17 10:19

      Sadie, Coenie, Josh Strauss, Doppies, Minnie

  • Sbuda - 2011-08-17 07:53

    Makes me wonder why was he selected at flyhalf and Morne at fullback in the away test at the first place. If this is not proof that PDV has no clue what he doing......... well it's still stupidity!!!!!!

      ZotBot - 2011-08-17 09:21

      Dude, you have no idea how stupid we're going to look at the World Cup when we get knocked out at the quarter finals... Eish! I have nothing against DIV personally, I don't know the man, but for good sake dude, if you're a national sports coach, at least HAVE A PLAN !!!

  • lionel.pretorius2 - 2011-08-17 08:12

    Lambie is and always has been n fullback since school days , Sharks U 19 etc that is his position next ' Rolls Rouce " of fullbacks ?

  • graham.bartholomew - 2011-08-17 08:12

    Lambie is in a different class to other players, he will give 110% no matter what position he gets played in, he is not a confidence player like Ruan, I would say he is more like James O'Connor.

      ZotBot - 2011-08-17 09:25

      Oh please, he's had a handful of good runs in a sharks jersey, and even less in a Bok jersey. He's done nothing to suggest that he's anything special. He's in the same ORDINARY mould as Peter Grant. We don't need an ordinary Lambie, we need a Carter or Larkham.

  • Tonderai of Cape Town - 2011-08-17 08:14

    Give 'em hell Lambie. Still feel Morne Steyn should be given his own medicine,the boot. Gone are the days when just being able to kick is good enough and he's not even doing that right. Rather play Butch at 10,at least he can tackle.

  • Kaapie - 2011-08-17 08:58

    @ Netherlands so in which position do you see him, considering he was the form SA fullback of the SA conference.

  • dribble - 2011-08-17 09:00

    to throw a question out there to all the bambie fans.....(clearly i am not one) if frans steyn never injured himself.....and considering that bambie was never in the 22 squad to you think he would be there now...

      ZotBot - 2011-08-17 09:26

      Exactly !!! It's only sharkies that sing his praises. They praise ORDINARY Like I said above: "Oh please, he's had a handful of good runs in a sharks jersey, and even less in a Bok jersey. He's done nothing to suggest that he's anything special. He's in the same ORDINARY mould as Peter Grant. We don't need an ordinary Lambie, we need a Carter or Larkham."

      Travis - 2011-08-17 13:24

      @ZotBot. Mate, even Carter and Larkham started somewhere, and were not God's gift to the rugby world the minute they stepped on the rugby field. Lambie has not been given a real go at test level, but has proved himself time and again at CC and Super level, so deserves the chance to have a go at the big stage. There are more than enough people who know a thing or two about rugby who see that he is a talent, and if you were honest you would say the same. He is quick, has great hands and vision, and is calm. Add to this great defence, and plenty of heart and BMT...he deserves a chance. I am also surprised that you say Peter Grant is ordinary...I think that he is a whole lot better than that. I guess we all have opinions about rugby players, huh.

  • Sunray33 - 2011-08-17 09:48

    Bokke by 9 this space.

  • FJ2 - 2011-08-17 10:55

    Beware, mr Lambie. If I remember correctly, Russel was man of the match in his final test and never made the team again. Coaches are sometimes just as fickle as we, the fans, are.

  • rapol - 2011-08-17 11:24

    "while John Smit, recently voted by Sports Illustrated as the greatest Springbok ever, may well be remembered by some as a poor prop!" This statement scares me.... its shows that sports illustrated readers have about as much intelligence as the springbok coach

      Bulldozer - 2011-08-17 12:12

      I see you can't afford to buy Sports Illustrated.

  • Sbuda - 2011-08-17 13:24

    Just cause you don't like the kid doesn't mean you have to disrespect him. He's a fantastic rugby player who gives his best regardless where he's being played and the Boks could do so much better with guys like him in the team than the overrated underperforming favorites currently being selected.

      Travis - 2011-08-17 13:25

      Totally agree Sbu!!!!

  • nono - 2011-08-18 05:38

    Im happy with Lambie in the squad. Why isnt Butch starting at fly half, Morne doesnt cut it

  • namibia24 - 2011-08-18 16:15

    Pat Lambie makes me think of Andre Joubert the Roll Royce of fullbacks. When ever pat Jins the backline from Fullback position it creates a spark, same as with old Juba.

  • carjan - 2011-08-19 14:17

    Div and his rest WILL make sure that Lamby get sshunted around . With his degree of confusion he will attempt everything ,but the correct one .

  • pages:
  • 1