Plumtree: ‘Lambie must play flyhalf’

Sharks head coach John Plumtree says Pat Lambie’s first-choice position should be flyhalf.

With Morne Steyn out of form and Johan Goosen injured, Lambie will be a main contender for the Springbok No 10 jersey during the team’s end-of-year tour to Europe.

The 22-year-old has been utilised as a fullback in 2012 by Bok head coach Heyneke Meyer and only received 54 minutes of playing time out of a possible 480 during the Rugby Championship.

However, Meyer revealed to this site on Tuesday that he would give the player a chance at flyhalf during the November Tests.

Lambie has started at flyhalf for the Sharks over the last fortnight, playing key roles in the 42-3 thrashing of Griquas and the 20-3 semi-final win over the Blue Bulls. Plumtree said he has been impressed so far.

‘I was really looking forward to giving Pat a run at 10,’ Plumtree told keo.co.za. ‘I was happy to give him two games of 80 minutes. He was probably craving game time when he returned to us, and he’s done well so far.

‘I see Pat Lambie as a 10. He has the tactical and goal kicking game. He has all the main attributes and a smart rugby brain. He has the whole package.

‘Yeah, he can play fullback, but I just think he offers more at flyhalf. And he’ll just get better and better at 10 as he continues to play in that position. He’ll be my flyhalf for Super Rugby.’

Plumtree believes Lambie needs to prove his worth as a quality flyhalf in Saturday’s Currie Cup final against WP.

‘That’s his opportunity to stake his claim, especially ahead of the Springbok end-of-year tour. How he handles the pressure and how he performs is up to him. He needs to make full use of the opportunity.’

By Gareth Duncan, in Durban