Cape Town - Springbok coach Allister Coetzee insists the inclusion of Pat Lambie at fullback for Saturday’s Rugby Championship Test against Australia in Pretoria is not a risky one.
The inclusion of Lambie at fullback is one of three changes made to the Bok line-up which started against the All Blacks in Christchurch two weeks ago.
Lambie is picked in place of Johan Goosen, while Rudy Paige and Morne Steyn start as the halfback combination in place of Faf de Klerk and Elton Jantjies.
Lambie has seen little action over the last few months after suffering concussion against Ireland in June.
He made his comeback playing little over half an hour in a Currie Cup game for the Sharks against the EP Kings on September 17 and according to Coetzee, is raring to go.
“Patrick Lambie is a player with 51 Test caps. So he comes with a lot of experience,” Coetzee said on SuperSport Blitz after naming his team on Thursday.
“Understand it clear, he (Lambie) is not injured anymore, he has played for the Sharks. At training I saw Patrick oozes with confidence and as a Springbok, knowing that it’s a great opportunity to again play for the Boks, he is ready to play.
“And he comes with leadership, he comes with the know-how and understanding of what we want to achieve this week. Therefore, his inclusion is not a gamble at all.”
Coetzee feels Steyn and Paige’s familiarity with the conditions at Loftus Versfeld will come in handy on Saturday (17:05 kick-off).
"They’ve been working hard in the system and it’s a great opportunity for them to get a start this weekend," said Coetzee.
Coetzee also reshuffled his bench, which shows five changes from the previous match-day 23. Bongi Mbonambi, Julian Redelinghuys, Lood de Jager, Lionel Mapoe and Willie le Roux are all included amongst the reserves and they are expected to make a strong impact off the bench.
15 Pat Lambie, 14 Bryan Habana, 13 Jesse Kriel, 12 Juan de Jongh, 11 Francois Hougaard, 10 Morne Steyn, 9 Rudy Paige, 8 Warren Whiteley, 7 Oupa Mohoje, 6 Francois Louw, 5 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Vincent Koch, 2 Adriaan Strauss (captain), 1 Tendai Mtawarira
Substitutes: 16 Bongi Mbonambi, 17 Steven Kitshoff, 18 Julian Redelinghuys, 19 Lood de Jager, 20 Willem Alberts, 21 Jaco Kriel, 22 Lionel Mapoe, 23 Willie le Roux
15 Israel Folau, 14 Dane Haylett-Petty, 13 Samu Kerevi, 12 Bernard Foley, 11 Reece Hodge, 10 Quade Cooper, 9 Will Genia, 8 Sean McMahon, 7 Michael Hooper, 6 Dean Mumm, 5 Rob Simmons, 4 Adam Coleman, 3 Sekope Kepu, 2 Stephen Moore (captain), 1 Scott Sio
Substitutes (from): 16 James Hanson, 17 James Slipper, 18 Tom Robertson, 19 Kane Douglas, 20 Scott Fardy, 21 Lopeti Timani, 22 Nick Phipps, 23 Tevita Kuridrani, 24 Sefa Naivalu