Boks name Lambie at fly-half
November 7, 2012
The Sharks' Patrick Lambie will start at fly-half against Ireland © Getty Images
South Africa boss Heyneke Meyer has handed the fly-half reins to Patrick Lambie ahead of Saturday's game with Ireland at the Aviva Stadium.
Morne Steyn and Johan Goosen shared the No.10 shirt during the recent Rugby Championship but Goosen has been ruled out of their northern hemisphere tour through injury and Steyn has been dropped to the bench. And it is Lambie who has got the nod at fly-half and he is set to earn his eighth start for the Springboks on Saturday.
The team shows three changes from the one that lost to New Zealand in their final match of the Championship. Juandre Kruger comes into the second-row in place of the injured Andries Bekker while JP Pietersen replaces sidelined winger Bryan Habana.
"I'm excited to see what Pat can bring to the team," said Meyer. "He played very well in the last few weeks of the Currie Cup and hopefully he can bring that momentum with him on Saturday.
"It's also good to have JP back. He's had a great season and will want to finish the season on a high. At lock, there has been strong competition for the No 5 jersey all season and now Juandré gets an opportunity again."
Saracens hooker Schalk Brits is named among the replacements and could make his first appearance for the national side since 2008. He will take his place on the bench alongside fellow front-rowers Pat Cilliers and CJ van der Linde.
"Schalk is an explosive player who can bring something special off the bench," said Meyer. "CJ is very experienced and knows the conditions here quite well, as he played for Leinster for two seasons."
After taking in the Championship, Meyer is looking forward to seeing how his team cope with the northern hemisphere conditions.
"I've said from the outset that I'd like to see which of the players can handle the northern hemisphere conditions on this tour, as it will be the same for the Rugby World Cup in 2015," Meyer said. "We'll be facing an Ireland team that is never an easy opponent in Dublin.
"The Springboks have only won one of their last four Tests here and since they lost at Aviva Stadium against South Africa in November 2010, they have recorded a number of good victories at their home ground.
"They will also be desperate to get back to winning ways after winning two of their eight Tests this season, which, to my mind, is not a true reflection of how good the Irish really are. But we're in a similar situation and would like to start this tour on a positive note."
South Africa: Zane Kirchner, JP Pietersen, Jaco Taute, Jean de Villiers (captain), Francois Hougaard, Pat Lambie, Ruan Pienaar, Tendai Mtawarira, Adriaan Strauss, Jannie du Plessis, Eben Etzebeth, Juandré Kruger, Francois Louw, Willem Alberts, Duane Vermeulen
Replacements: Schalk Brits, CJ van der Linde, Pat Cilliers, Flip van der Merwe, Marcell Coetzee, Morné Steyn, Juan de Jongh, Lwazi Mvovo
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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