Ruan: Lambie pick a position!

2012-10-10 09:57

Durban - Springbok scrumhalf Ruan Pienaar has called on utility back Pat Lambie to choose a position he wants to specialise in, or otherwise he will stay frustrated as a bench player.

According to the website, Pienaar and Frans Steyn were both in a similar position to Lambie at the beginning of their careers as the Sharks moved the two of them around the backline that it was difficult for them to settle on a position.

It hampered both in the early stages of their Springbok careers and especially Pienaar was seen as a bench option because of his ability to play scrumhalf, flyhalf and fullback.

In both cases it took a move overseas - Steyn to Racing Metro in France and Pienaar to Ulster in Ireland - for both players to finally settle on their preferred positions.

Now with the Sharks shifting Lambie around in the backline, it can be argued it has stunted the talented youngster’s game and he has been unable to cement a position in the Springbok backline.

Despite playing for the Boks at flyhalf last year, Lambie played most of the Super Rugby at fullback, with Frederic Michalak employed at flyhalf by the Sharks. Despite his versatility, the two young flyhalves in the Bok squad – Johan Goosen and Elton Jantjies are seen as ahead of him for the number 10 jersey, while he continues to sit on the bench behind Zane Kirchner in the race for the fullback spot.

But now with Goosen injured, there is an opportunity for Lambie - who said he was frustrated by the bench time in New Zealand - to throw his name into the hat for the No 10 jersey as well on the November tour.

Pienaar said the quicker Lambie makes a decision on his future, the better it will be for his career. The Bok halfback called on the youngster to decide where he wants to play and chat to the Sharks to ensure he gets prolonged game time there.

“ I learnt a lot in my time there from Brent Russell, and you can remember how he was shifted around in several different positions. When you’re young, you just want to play but at some point you have to make a decision as to where you want to play. Pat has an unbelievable amount of talent, and he can play flyhalf, centre and fullback but it is a difficult situation,” Pienaar told

“It’s always great to have a guy like that on the bench for coaches because he gives you so many options.”

However, Pienaar did admit he had to leave South Africa to settle down, and wouldn’t like to see a similar situation for Lambie. It has only been in the last season that Pienaar has finally found some consistent form, much of it because Ulster use him only at halfback in the European season.

“Pat is a wise young man who has a good head on his shoulders and I’m sure if he sits down he will make the right decisions about his future.”

With Michalak gone, there is a golden opportunity for Lambie to play flyhalf in the 2013 Super Rugby series, but rumours that Elton Jantjies is negotiating with the Sharks as well as Western Province may see him shift back to fullback if the Lions flyhalf comes to Durban.

The Sharks already have Louis Ludik and Riaan Viljoen who can play fullback, with Jaco Taute also in negotiations to possibly join them in 2013.


  • wesley.rousseau.58 - 2012-10-10 10:07

    Flyhalf please!!!

      luke.watskots - 2012-10-10 10:15

      For the kings!!!

      stompies.hattingh.5 - 2012-10-10 11:43

      The common denominator = the Sharks. So my advice is to first choose a different province/franchise!! (remember one Brent Russell?)

      TravieGrif - 2012-10-10 12:55

      Stompies, this article is actually not that accurate, and nor is your comment. Ruan Pienaar was always played at 9 by Plum. It was PDivvy who moved him around so much. There are a few players who have been pushed from pillar to post to get their best position, or sometimes play in a position where there is a need, but it is not a good thing. Brent Russel was used as a utility at the Sharks and WP. Ruan is correct though. Lambie needs to pick his position of choice and work to be the best at it. I think 10 is his best spot.

      jaco.groenewald.731 - 2012-10-10 13:08

      @Travie and divvy asked Plums to play him at 10

      macziekpk - 2012-10-10 13:49

      Bench Warmer!

      press.enter.12 - 2012-10-11 01:17

      . . . Benchwarmer - unless they bulk him up, teach him to tackle and let him specialise at 12 . . .

  • calliedj - 2012-10-10 10:08


      macziekpk - 2012-10-10 13:49

      Water boy.

  • mark.pretorius1 - 2012-10-10 10:10

    Rich coming from a man that made his name in rugby for being a "specialist" utility back.

      neutedop.opinie - 2012-10-10 10:29

      Did you even read the article????????

      upumba - 2012-10-10 10:34

      @Mark Its called advice from a guy who's been there...........dimwit

      ryan.viljoen.39 - 2012-10-10 10:35

      Mark you are so off the point with that comment, it's laughable. Ruan doesn't want Lambie to be in the same position as he was for many years and is urging the youngster to select a position to make his own as opposed to being a utility back. Re-read the article.

      spyker.oflanagan - 2012-10-10 10:59

      Mark lyk nogal soos n jong Adolf Hitler.

      luke.watskots - 2012-10-10 11:07

      Spyker, gaan jy my join in die struggle??? KINGS FOR LIFE!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      spyker.oflanagan - 2012-10-10 11:13

      Jy weet dit, Luke. Go Kings!!!

      jaco.groenewald.731 - 2012-10-10 11:17

      Ag nee Spyker, dag jy is n blou bul???

      spyker.oflanagan - 2012-10-10 11:27

      Jaco, van kleins af is ek baie passionate oor die Bulle..............en die Kings.

      luke.watskots - 2012-10-10 11:36

      DRAADSITTER!!!!! of is dit trekker spyker??

      spyker.oflanagan - 2012-10-10 11:49

      My sussie doen die trek werk.

      jacques.nortier1 - 2012-10-10 14:40

      ANd you are a world class player who has been there? Idiot

  • viva.lebok - 2012-10-10 10:20

    Why would the Sharks be negotiating to sign Jantjies if they have Lambie. Makes one think that even the Sharks believe jantjies is a better FH???

      chris.gill.9849 - 2012-10-10 10:23

      What happens if Lambie gets injured or needs a break?

      grant.callaway.50 - 2012-10-10 10:25

      No, it means that there are no decent fullbacks around! By slotting Jantjies in flyhalf, Lambie can play fullback, and Sharks will have both bases covered WELL. If Lambie plays flyhalf, what brilliant fullback option is available? Thats why I agree with Pienaar on this one. Lambie must put his foot down and stop being messed around like all our great talents in the past! If not, go overseas, make some money, and wait for SA to WAKE UP!!

      luke.watskots - 2012-10-10 10:51

      Lambie is average at best anyway!!!

      unclejb.vansiths - 2012-10-10 11:11

      @luke and you are just useless at best are'nt you?

      luke.watskots - 2012-10-10 11:30

      Yes bru, so nice of you to say that, all I am good for is puking on SA!!!!!!!!!!!

      spyker.oflanagan - 2012-10-10 11:31

      Uncle, you have your apostrophe in the wrong place, but I applaud your effort.

      DieKriek - 2012-10-10 12:05

      @grantcallaway No decent fullbacks? Have you been watching CC? Louis Ludik is more than just a 'decent fullback', he is the best fullback in the Currie Cup! And with Riaan Viljoen and Gouws Prinsloo behind him, the Sharks are more than covered at fullback. At flyhalf they have Meyer Bosman (Riaan Viljoen had his chance, he should never be allowed near a 10 jersey again!) and now Pat returning form the Boks, nothing else, so in trying to get Elton, they were trying to find cover for Lambie. Super rugby is a long tournament, and you can never say no to quality backup!

      christopher.shining - 2012-10-10 16:32

      luke.watskots just your name says it all,,,complete chop!

  • gary.doyle.520 - 2012-10-10 10:26

    Lambie was so effective in the beginning because he is such an instinctive player. I think that ability makes him a better flyhalf but he needs an oppertunity in 1 position to find that form and confidence again.

      denese.newby - 2012-10-10 12:13

      Thank you gary.doyle.520 - I agree totally with you!

  • bertie.naude.35 - 2012-10-10 10:39

    Too slow for fullback.

      denis.dendrinos - 2012-10-10 11:27

      You're too stupid to be breathing. Remember several fantastic, try saving tackles he made at full back during the super 15.

      bertie.naude.35 - 2012-10-10 11:47

      Ludick is a much better fullback.

      clive.slade.5 - 2012-10-10 11:50

      10 Million miles better than Kirchner at 15; and 100 million miles better than Jantjies at Flyhalf. Both of them just there for quota reasons. Lambie should show his middle finger to Meyer and go and play where he is recognised for his talent.

      press.enter.12 - 2012-10-11 01:19

      @denis.dendrinos - actually no - I dont - and neither does anyone else it seems . . . . You could always point us towards footage though . . . .

  • Hanjo - 2012-10-10 10:49

    Since when is versatility considered a bad thing? Top players like James O'Connor plays mostly on the wing for the Aussies, while he plays centre, fly half or fullback at super rugby level. - the conservative South African mindset which claims versatility and being played in different positions harms a player is so outdated it's not even funny anymore.

      luke.watskots - 2012-10-10 10:54

      They should join the KINGS we have an anti SA mindset!!!

      Hanjo - 2012-10-10 10:58

      Luke get an education.

      luke.watskots - 2012-10-10 11:14

      I went to school bra, ask my dad!!!! He had to give up school couse he felt bad that he was still in grade 10 when I did grade 9!!! And I have a job, I am working for my dad, and he is looking for a job!!!

  • joe.west.184881 - 2012-10-10 10:59

    All players mentioned above is Shark players, and the coach is a Kiwi....... Surely the problem does not lie with the players but with that coach of theirs...

      hugh.olphart - 2012-10-11 10:08

      El Bundys done ok as Sharks coach. Also played for the Sharks so no problem there.

  • melinda.botha.75 - 2012-10-10 11:01

    Good sportsmen's ship

      lablue.phoenix - 2012-10-10 11:31

      Yeah those sportsmen's ships are okay I guess. I prefer the sportsmen's cars though, as I get sea sick.

      luke.watskots - 2012-10-10 12:40

      I dont get it?????

  • lablue.phoenix - 2012-10-10 11:14

    He should just stay at fullback, which is what he is doing. The only problem is, is that HM has an affair with Kirchner or something and refuse to relegate Zane to the bench, even though he is greatly exposed on international level.

      spyker.oflanagan - 2012-10-10 11:29

      When last did you see Zane drop a high ball or miss a tackle? That's a fullback's main responsibilities. Just a date, not an essay.

      TravieGrif - 2012-10-10 11:41

      Zane missed two critical tackles against the AB's, and he has not been earth shattering under the high ball either. Was found hopelessly out of position on Saturday.

      spyker.oflanagan - 2012-10-10 11:47

      Travie, the one time I saw Zane not controlling a high ball was when he chased a high kick and had to compete in the air with Dagg. Hardly disgraceful if you don't win that battle. I suppose Bambie would've been earth shattering?

      bertie.naude.35 - 2012-10-10 11:50

      @Travie Don't mistake Kirchner for Habana.

      phelelanimark.mnyango - 2012-10-10 12:41

      Well I saw on starday zane getin run over by gear aftr gear ran over habna and jean I mean jean and habna tried to stop gear so the slowd him down for zane in a way bt still he gave zane a special suprise that I'm sure he will never forget

      spyker.oflanagan - 2012-10-10 13:05

      Phele, now just imagine what would've happened to little Bambie if he was there.

      hugh.olphart - 2012-10-11 10:10

      Fullback should be Geo? Aplon, not Kirchner.

  • jaco.groenewald.731 - 2012-10-10 11:17

    The Question should be, at what position is he the best in the country and can he cement a permanent SB place!!!!

      luke.watskots - 2012-10-10 11:49

      The Q should be, do you have a brain???? Lambie will be a fantastic open side flanker!!! But he wont be able to play for the kings, couse thats MY position, so play him at left hooker!!!

  • stompies.hattingh.5 - 2012-10-10 11:40

    The common denominator = the Sharks. So my advice is to first choose a different province/franchise!! (remember one Brent Russell?)

      gary.doyle.520 - 2012-10-10 12:17

      I'm a shark supporter and I regard that as a very fair comment. Can only hope they've learnt from their mistakes.

      luke.watskots - 2012-10-10 12:41

      Die antwoord- KINGS!!!!!

  • wayne.mclaren1 - 2012-10-10 12:11

    Ruan should not be playing for the sharks B Side Lambie should be Full Back

  • nico.eksteen.7 - 2012-10-10 12:27

    Lambie should be backup for the most talented fullback in SA, Willie le Roux!!!

      spyker.oflanagan - 2012-10-10 12:29

      Jaco Taute (the fullback, not the center) should be back-up.

  • wayne.mclaren1 - 2012-10-10 12:28

    Ruan should not been playing for the Sharks B Side Lambie should be the Bok Full Back

      luke.watskots - 2012-10-10 12:41

      We are looking for a number 9

  • markvonbentheim - 2012-10-10 13:11

    does it matter? Jaco Taute plays fullback for the Lions all year and suddenly plays center for the boks ... and let's not forget about Hougaard, a far better scrumhalf than Pienaar who now plays on the wing. Also, De Villiers preferred position is inside center but is played at outside center. So Lambie may have a preferred position, but probably counts for little in the bigger scheme of things. And Pienaar isn't that good either.

  • wim.kotze.5 - 2012-10-10 13:28

    Pity coming from Pienaar. Since he, Pienaar, "picked a position" he's not been half the player he used to be. But he's probably right with regard to Lambie's career. South African Rugby is building a tradition that favours predictability and alignment over excitement and creativity. Oh I wish we could have the old Pienaar back, not the one that waits patiently for everybody to line up, before he clears the ball from a ruck (after meaningfully glancing in the direction he intends to send the ball).

  • roy.wadhams.1 - 2012-10-10 14:11

    Lambie,take the fly-half position so that we do not have to use Morne Steyn. You would make a better fly-half than a fullback.

      press.enter.12 - 2012-10-11 01:22

      Lambie would make the best shampoo add . . .

  • roy.wadhams.1 - 2012-10-10 14:15

    @macziekpk maaifoedie,ass---e,idiot,clot,twat. Are you to thick to add a decent comment?

      macziekpk - 2012-10-10 18:15

      You realized you blocked out the hole part of the cuss word, not the ass part which usually would be the censored part. Idiot

  • david.phillips.583234 - 2012-10-10 16:44

    Solid advice from Pienaar, nice one Ruan. Lambie at flyhalf every day of the week. He is better than Jantjies.

  • justin.hemming.94 - 2012-10-11 09:06

    Lambie is a no. 10 through and through! He's a thinking, creative player, and will sort out all of the boks problems at 10. A bit short for a no. 15, and not enough pace - in fact SA doesn't have a top class 15 at the moment - Stefan Tereblance was the perfect 15, but never got the opportunity - Percy and Andre Joubert both played way beyond their years and lost pace. Our no. 15 should be a youngster. Taute is too heavy and slow, Kirchner is simply too average and kicks too much, Ludik is a great finisher, but also slow, Joe Pietersen is too small.....bla, bla bla - We need an Israel Dagg.

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