Inspired Lambie back to torment England
PAT Lambie is set to reprise the role he played so successfully in the Rugby World Cup by slotting in at fullback for the Springboks in the second test against England at Ellis Park this weekend.
Zane Kirchner, who started during South Africa's 22-17 first test win, hobbled off early in the second half due to a knee injury, which has not recovered sufficiently for him to be considered this week.
Coach Heyneke Meyer has drafted in Stormers wing/fullback Gio Aplon as cover, but it is Lambie who will have the inside track after an impressive 35 minutes from the bench last weekend.
Kirchner offered little going forward, while Lambie's ability to glide into the backline and pop up in crucial support roles caused problems for the English defence. The thought of Aplon coming off the bench late in the game as it opens up is also a salivating prospect.
"Lambie is a great fullback. He had a very good second half and he's a guy who's trained there before, so it makes it easier for me to pick him," Meyer said.
"It'll also be good to have a specialist fullback [Aplon] on the bench."
Prop Dean Greyling was also added to the squad as cover for Coenie Oosthuizen. The Cheetahs prop hurt his shoulder during the second half and will undergo a further fitness assessment today.
But the coach was comfortable with Greyling's inclusion even though he could have opted to make a bold decision and recall Toulouse's Gurthro Steenkamp.
The 2010 Player of the Year had enjoyed an excellent season in France, culminating in Top 14 triumph at the weekend and has no doubt improved as a scrummager.
"They are quality players who were unlucky not to make the 32," Meyer said of Greyling and Aplon. "It's always difficult to leave quality players out, especially those who have played for the Springboks before.
"But, as I said, I'm not big on giving guys chances easily. If they want to play for South Africa, I don't want to make it cheap.
"These two have always been on standby and they've impressed me this season. Now it's up to them to step up."
Meyer also talked England up, but after winning the first test with three days to prepare, the Bok coach would be crushed if his side failed to drive their advantage home at altitude.
"England are a quality side, they were very dangerous at the weekend and I thought their defence was awesome, especially when you consider how many of the guys hadn't played together.
"This weekend they will change tactics and we expect a backlash."
England coach Stuart Lancaster has named a changed team for Wednesday's game against a Southern Barbarians team in Kimberley. Only two of the match 22 from the first test feature in a squad that shows seven new caps.
Backs: Alex Goode; David Strettle, Anthony Allen, Jordan Turner-Hall, Christian Wade; Charlie Hodgson, Danny Care
Forwards: Thomas Waldrom, Carl Fearns, James Haskell, George Robson (capt), Graham Kitchener, Paul Doran Jones, Joe Gray, Matt Mullan.
Replacements: Tom Youngs, Rupert Harden, Tom Palmer, Jamie Gibson, Lee Dickson, George Lowe, Nick Abendanon.