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Mon Apr 21 11:41:14 SAST 2014

Hungry Lambie told he can't play for Sharks

SBU MJIKELISO | 19 September, 2012 06:090 Comments
Pat Lambie looks on during a Springbok training session at Hale School two weeks ago, in Perth, Australia
Image by: PAUL KANE / GALLO IMAGES

PAT Lambie is desperate to just play some rugby.

This time the plea does not come from the precocious player himself, but from his provincial coach at the Sharks, John Plumtree.

Yesterday Plumtree struggled to hide his disappointment that Lambie would not be released for Currie Cup rugby this weekend.

Instead Bok coach Heyneke Meyer is clinging onto the 21-year-old, even though he is unlikely to start in either of the remaining games of the tournament.

Meyer has used Lambie for a mere 14 minutes in four games during the Four Nations.

"It is a little bit frustrating but it's their [Springbok management's] decision," Plumtree said. "Pat Lambie is pretty desperate for some game time."

Lambie's absence will deprive the rugby public of watching two of the country's best flyhalves go head to head in the Currie Cup top-of-the-table clash at Ellis Park on Saturday night.

So while Lambie will be kicking his heels in the stands, his Sharks team will be out to contain Elton Jantjies, another creative player overlooked by Meyer for the Bok No10 spot.

"Elton's got a great skill set. He can play deep, flat and his tactical and goal-kicking game is very accurate," said Plumtree of the Lions flyhalf.

"The Lions always play better when he's playing well, so he's a player that we have to make sure doesn't have a big game against us."

But then Plumtree is at least grateful to have hooker Craig Burden and wing Lwazi Mvovo back for the big game.

"We're definitely happy to have some of the Boks back; they definitely add value. Craig and Lwazi are two great players who give us that extra depth."

Meyer has also released Jacques Potgieter, Jano Vermaak (both Blue Bulls) and Frans Malherbe (Western Province) for the Currie Cup.

But Zane Kirchner, Johan Goosen and Morne Steyn have also been retained. All three are ahead of Lambie in the Bok pecking order at fullback or flyhalf.

Lambie's last meaningful game time for the Boks was as a second-half substitute during the first test against England in June.

During that half, the Boks played some of their best rugby this year, scoring 16 points, turning a 6-6 half-time score into a 22-17 win at King's Park in Durban.

Lambie gave a hint of his eagerness to play on the eve of last week's test against the All Blacks.

"I'm feeling fresh and raring to go," he said.

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