Lambie queues for Bok spot

2010-10-29 13:41
Patrick Lambie (Gallo)

Johannesburg - Flyhalf Patrick Lambie heads a queue of young uncapped backs set to be called up for a South Africa rugby union tour of Ireland and Britain next month.

Wings Bjorn Basson and Lwazi Mvovo and flyhalf Elton Jantjies also took part in a training camp last weekend and seem likely to be included in the 30-strong touring party.

The reigning world champions leave Johannesburg late Tuesday and will face Ireland, Wales, Scotland and England in Tests on successive Saturdays from November 6 before finishing off with a game against the Barbarians in London.

Springboks coach Peter de Villiers will name his squad in Durban Saturday after watching the domestic season highlight -- Sharks versus Western Province in the Currie Cup final.

Although Lambie turned 20 only this month, he has stepped seamlessly into a position filled by Frenchman Frederic Michalak and Argentine Juan-Martin Hernandez in recent seasons and is the Sharks leading Currie Cup points scorer.

HO de Villiers, still considered the prince of South African full-backs 40 years after retiring, purrs when analysing the find of the 2010 Currie Cup season.

"He has good pace over 25 metres and that is ideal for a fly-half. Patrick has impressed me and that is important because I do think we have outstanding pivots in this country at the moment," he told The Sunday Independent.

Former All Blacks coach John Mitchell has mixed feelings about the rapid rise of 20-year-old Jantjies, who burst on to the Currie Cup scene this year and helped transform the embattled Golden Lions into a competitive force.

Mitchell believes Jantjies should rest foot injuries rather than fly north with the Springboks, but assistant national coach Dick Muir sees no risk in taking the native of Eastern Cape town Graaff Reinet.

Basson from cinderella rugby union province Griqualand West created a Currie Cup tries record with 21 this year and was the only recognised right wing at the Johannesburg camp after a hamstring injury sidelined JP Pietersen.

Sharks left wing Mvovo possesses power and pace and is another emerging talent to stamp his mark, pushing Springbok Odwa Ndungane out of the starting line-up.

But he must compete with former World Rugby Player of the Year Bryan Habana for the No 11 green and gold jersey and the incumbent has regained form after a disastrous Tri-Nations campaign.

Among six uncapped contenders for forward positions, Western Province No 8 Duane Vermeulen and flanker Willem Alberts of Sharks have raised their arms highest during the 15-match Currie Cup slog.

There could also be a slot for Blue Bulls loose forward Deon Stegmann, an injury absentee for much of the Currie Cup but the only specialist 'fetcher' in the training squad.

South Africa won just one of six Tri-Nations matches against New Zealand and Australia while conceding 22 tries and a disastrous end-of-season tour would leave officials with no choice but to axe De Villiers.


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