RWC debut excites Lambie

2011-09-15 07:30

Wellington - Baby-faced fullback Patrick Lambie says his selection in the Springboks team to play Fiji at the Rugby World Cup on Saturday is "a million times better than Christmas morning."

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The 20-year-old Lambie will make his first World Cup appearance on the same ground at Wellington on which he made his first starting appearance for the Springboks, against the All Blacks during this season's Tri-Nations tournament.

The versatile back from the Durban-based Sharks gains his chance because of injuries to centre Jean de Villiers and wing  Bryan Habana which have forced a reshuffle of the Springboks backline.

"I'm very happy and hugely excited to have the opportunity to play this weekend," he said on Thursday. "Obviously it's never nice when there are injuries in the squad but it does give guys opportunities and I can see now I'm ready for an interesting challenge.

"It's a dream come true to be firstly here and secondly to get the opportunity to play is something very special. It's a million times better than Christmas morning, I can assure you of that."

Lambie has battled a shoulder injury since his starting debut against the All Blacks but said he was now confident that was in the past.

"I'm really pleased with the progress I've made with my shoulder and the medical staff are happy as well," he said. "I was actually given the all clear last week so I've been raring to go for a couple of weeks now and I'm happy I'm in the mix this weekend."

Lambie said the fast and powerful Fijians were likely to be a challenge to contain but he felt confident of performing his role as the Springboks' last line of defense.

"I think something I was told when I was a youngster (is) that everyone's ankles are similar sizes so you're fine when you're going for his ankles," he said.

Wing Odwa Ndungane has also been handed a World Cup debut as a replacement for the injured Habana. He is now set to emulate his brother Akona Ndungane, who played for the World Cup-winning South African team in France in 2007.

"I'm very happy and excited with the challenge," Ndungane said. "It's going to be a big one but one we've been working hard for so definitely looking forward to it.

"I spoke to (Akona) and gave him the good news and shared the good news with my family. They were very happy for me."

Ndungane said he was prepared for the physical challenge of Fiji.

"We've seen the type of game they play and they're a very physical team, especially their backs," he said. "They love to run with the ball so I think for us it's important we do everything right and keep the ball away from them. I think that's the only way we can actually put them under pressure, by not giving them the ball, doing our set pieces right and dominating that aspect of the game."

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  • gooinat - 2011-09-15 07:42

    Million times better than a XMAX morning,hahahaha,nice one!!!!!!!!!!

      Lebo - 2011-09-15 08:33

      He's adorable, and a very promising player! PDiv needs to start fielding young players like Lambie rather than the tried and tested oupas like Smit. Just sad that Hougaard didn't make the starting line-up after his great performance on Sunday.

      Winston - 2011-09-15 08:43

      Lambie is a good tackler, so I think he will cope well at the back, I also think at this stage he is better at fullback than flyhalf, so good choice. And well done to Odwa, his defence is good, so I reckon this is a good team, and with the two Steyns next to each other, I doubt they will blot our copybook, so I reckon we in for a good match. Go Bokke.

      gooinat - 2011-09-15 08:45

      I really feel for a guy like Bismark,the guy must feel week in and out what more must he do.Agree with you on Hougaard..........

      Winston - 2011-09-15 08:47

      Oh, and to Lebo, PdV and his staff have fielded Lambie more than once, so give credit where credit is due, and also, then need a mix of experience and youth, they cannot just put in 15 twenty year olds. Smit serves a purpose for the first 50 minutes and he serves a team purpose in the background. I do feel for Bismarck though, as he would crack a starting spot in any team, yes even the mighty All Blacks I am sure wish they had there!

      Almaki - 2011-09-15 08:54

      True, Lebo, would've loved to see Hougaard in the starting line-up. Then again, the explosive impact he can provide off the bench may stand the Boks in good stead. I'm really looking forward to the game!

      BlueRaven - 2011-09-15 09:19

      Go Bambie! Go Bokke!

  • RJ - 2011-09-15 07:46

    They going to run him over with and he will only wake up XMAS moring

      Warren - 2011-09-15 08:24

      RJ.. go play in traffic

      Stryder - 2011-09-15 08:34

      Be sure to be here after the match to receive the "STFU"'s.

      mike mason - 2011-09-15 08:50

      @RJ...I see your Rugby knowledge is limited...Yes Lambie lacks size and maybe strength,but if you watch closely he very skillfull and has a real Rugby brain..I personally he is the Most 'naturally' talented player in the Squad

      Really - 2011-09-15 10:42

      The lights he is going to see is not going to be Christmas lights.

  • Zip23 - 2011-09-15 07:56

    Anyone thinking the Fijians can klap the Boks should have their heads examined. Think this is a better side than started against Wales.

      gooinat - 2011-09-15 08:00

      With one or two exceptions...........

      Johnny-BB - 2011-09-15 08:08

      ...luckily Jean de Villiers and Bryan Banana are out.... ...their replacements are improvements.......

      Zip23 - 2011-09-15 08:23

      Well, Steyn will be solid and take the monstrous Fijians on, Ndugane wont be erratic, Lambie will be the unknown factor to Fiji. We dont have to run circles around them, solid defence and pressure will lead to mistakes, and it will be game over. Also, a better pairing in Rossouw and Botha at lock to make some serious big hits on their runners.

      Winston - 2011-09-15 09:52

      I am just worried about Botha lasting the match, but otherwise I agree, I reckon this is a better run on side than the Welsh game. I like the two Steyns next to each other at 10 and 12

  • Raider - 2011-09-15 08:04

    Dumbfounded the probably the best attacking fullack in the world isn't even on the bench. Go figure.

      Felix - 2011-09-15 08:17

      Andre Joubert has retired numbnuts :P

      Stryder - 2011-09-15 08:51

      And who, in your opinion, is that?

      kosie - 2011-09-15 09:45

      Mills muliana, Israel dagg, Kurtley beale doesn't play for the springboks so they can't be on the bench...

      StaalBurgher - 2011-09-15 11:10

      @Raider - That would be Dagg or O'Connor...

  • Anneleen - 2011-09-15 08:21

    What exciting times...a huge congratulations to the 15 players taking to the field on Saturday, as well as their trusty back-ups. Speedy recovery for the injured players. Lambie, Ndungane and Pienaar...enjoy your first game! And Steyn...have a cracker playing at inside centre! Go Bokke, and have an absolutely great time on the playing field. Goed om jou terug te sien in die span, Bakkies! Bokke 4 life!!!!!

  • Gerrie Coe - 2011-09-15 08:23

    Go Lambie! Enjoy unwrapping those presents come Saturday...

  • Nick - 2011-09-15 08:24

    Good luck, Lambie. We're all behind you!

  • Leighton - 2011-09-15 08:30

    This team seems more balanced - Good Luck Justin Bieber (Pat)!

      chappy - 2011-09-15 09:10

      Bieber plays for Australia... (O Conner)

  • SA-FAN - 2011-09-15 08:42

    Lets go and moer hulle, bliksem hulle lmao GO BOKKE! Feeling more positive with this team!

  • Clarissa - 2011-09-15 08:43

    Go Botjie! You are a youngster with a lot of potential!! From a proud Sharkie supporter!! xx

  • Red Lion - 2011-09-15 08:59

    Ya Bambie........

  • Drummerboi - 2011-09-15 09:24

    Congrats to all the boys that cracked the nod! Looking forward to an awesome match!

  • The Pro - 2011-09-15 09:26

    Finally the most naturally gifted player in the whole Springbok squad gets his run on, good luck Pat. Smit serves a purpose in terms of team dynamic and lets be honest who would wanna be 50Mins into the game and a monster like Bismarck runs on with Hougaard and Alberts? PDivvy has a good thing on the go here guys, Those three guys may well win us the world cup from the bench. Go Bokke!!!

      Sharkbite - 2011-09-15 09:37

      To be fair, you don't put 3 of your best players on the bench. What if we're too far behind to play catch up by the time they grace the field with their presence?

      Karoobloed - 2011-09-16 08:26

      I am with you Sharkbite - better to avoid catch-up rugby

  • Kevin - 2011-09-15 10:14

    Go World Champions -Go Bokke - Go Lambie.

  • Devon - 2011-09-15 10:53

    I just wish they would play him where he's most effective...flyhalf!!! He's got FAR too much talent to be wasted at fullback. He needs to be closer to the ball. Draw the tacklers and put his centre's into gaps or take the gaps himself (which he does with aplomb)...

      kosie - 2011-09-15 13:34

      he's fine at fullback,

      Karoobloed - 2011-09-16 08:28

      Pat Lambie apparently prefers full back. Eddie Jones suggested that would be his best position at this point. Need we say more?

  • atreyu_za - 2011-09-15 12:11

    Guys, let's put player selection behind us. It will NOT change, so let us support the boys as best we can!

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