With Frederick Michalak playing so well at flyhalf last year, Patrick Lambie spent a lot of time at fullback, but this year his focus will be on the No 10 jersey
Sharks coach John Plumtree, quoted on the Sharks website, believes Pat Lambie to be his man at flyhalf this year, but with very different responsibilities to the ones he carried when playing pivot for the Springboks …
“It was good to see him play those Test matches at flyhalf, but I think it’s also important to understand that the Boks play a different style of rugby to us. I think the Boks play more off the scrumhalf and we generally play more off 10 so he’ll have more responsibility with the Sharks,” said Plumtree.
“But he started playing really well at flyhalf in last year’s Super Rugby competition before he got injured, and then obviously Fred came into that role. I think people forget that Pat picked up quite a few injuries last year, so he didn’t have a great season in Super Rugby from an injury perspective. But hopefully the injuries will stay away this season and he’ll be able to get a good run of games in that position.”
The coach, for obvious reasons, is also happy with his depth in midfield, with Francois Steyn joining the likes of Meyer Bosman, Paul Jordaan and Tim Whitehead. That depth of the variety needed to survive this brutal tournament.
Plumtree also confirmed that Ryan Kankowski will be back in Durban this week after spending the second half of last year playing for Japanese club side Toyota Verblitz. The Sharks’ two pre-season trial matches are fairly low key – Against the Leopards at the Woodburn Stadium in Pietermaritzburg this Friday, and against the Pumas next week.