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    Rookie flyhalf set to replace Lambie

    2017-03-15 09:04

    Durban - He is just 20-years-old, but Benhard Janse van Rensburg looks set to be named as Pat Lambie's replacement at flyhalf when the Sharks host the Kings in this weekend's Super Rugby action. 

    Lambie lasted just 5 minutes of Saturday's win over the Waratahs before he left the field with what would later be confirmed as a fractured vertebrae. He now faces 6-8 weeks out.

    Curwin Bosch put in a solid performance as Lambie's replacement on Saturday, but it looks like he will continue to be backed at fullback. 

    The other options at No 10 for the Sharks are Inny Radebe and Garth April, but it looks like Janse van Rensburg will crack the nod for the Kings.

    "This week it's Benhard. It's my first game with him. We'll see what happens. I'm confident that he will do the job," Sharks centre Andre Esterhuizen told media on Tuesday.

    "He's got a good rugby head but he's also not scared to tackle. He's good on defence and attack as well."

    Janse van Rensburg, a member of the SA Under-20 squad that did business at the 2016 World Championships, has been at the Sharks since 2016 but this weekend could potentially be the biggest of his career. 

    Esterhuizen said that the whole side felt for Lambie, who has now experienced a fourth straight Super Rugby season cut short by injury. 

    "It's horrible what happened to him, especially now that it's just been injury after injury for the past three years," said Esterhuizen.

    "I said yesterday that if that was me I would have probably stopped rugby by now.

    "He's a stronger person than me and I'm sure he'll get back up. He always does. He's strong mentally and he always comes back better so hopefully he makes a speedy recovery."

    Radebe and April are also youngsters - 22 and 25, respectively - and Esterhuizen knows that replacing Lambie is no easy feat. 

    "It's a big position for the youngsters," he said.

    "Losing someone like Pat, you only notice it when he's gone ... all of the organisation and communication. It's a big role to fill for the youngsters but I think they're up for it."

    36-year-old Odwa Ndungane is also expected to start on Saturday. 

    The match kicks off at 19:30. 

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    Saturday, 17 February 2018
    • Stormers v Jaguares, Cape Town 15:05
    • Lions v Sharks, Emirates Airlines Park 17:15
    Friday, 23 February 2018
    • Highlanders v Blues, 08:35
    • Rebels v Reds, AAMI Park 10:45
    Saturday, 24 February 2018
    • Sunwolves v Brumbies, Prince Chichibu Memorial Stadium 06:15
    • Crusaders v Chiefs, 08:35
    • Waratahs v Stormers, Allianz Stadium 10:45
    • Lions v Jaguares, Emirates Airlines Park 15:05
    • Bulls v Hurricanes, Loftus Versfeld 17:15

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