Lambie to captain SA against Barbarians

LEADING THE WAY: Pat Lambie during a South Africa training session yesterday. Picture: GETTY IMAGES
LEADING THE WAY: Pat Lambie during a South Africa training session yesterday. Picture: GETTY IMAGES

Pat Lambie will become the sixth Springbok captain in just over a year when he leads South Africa against the Barbarians at Wembley on Saturday.

This is considered a tour match‚ so officially Lambie is not Springbok captain No 58 as no test caps are awarded for the game against the famous rugby club.

Since August last year‚ Schalk Burger‚ Victor Matfield‚ Jean de Villiers‚ Fourie du Preez and Adriaan Strauss captained the Springboks in test matches.

Strauss was named as Bok captain No 57 earlier this year and has led the team in the nine tests they have played so far this year.

But coach Allister Coetzee said Strauss would be rested for the Barbarians match‚ paving the way for Lambie to lead the side.

The talented 26-year-old utility back has played 53 tests for the Boks and regularly captained the Sharks in Super Rugby.

“Patrick was always part of the leadership group and part of the spine of the Springbok team‚” Coetzee said.

“He understands the team culture and has a great understanding of the game and the way we want to play. “I have no doubt that he will make a success of his appointment as captain for this match.”

“Adriaan still plays an important role in the squad‚ by giving support to Patrick and also helping [hookers] Bongi Mbonambi and Malcolm Marx with technical detail‚ and he has bought into my succession plan‚” Coetzee said.

“He understands the bigger picture and he will be back to lead the team again against England at Twickenham next weekend.”

Strauss said this tour would be his last for the Boks as he plans to retire from test rugby at the end of the year.

Lambie‚ given his age and experience‚ could become the next test captain and this is a good dress rehearsal for that possible future role.

Lambie‚ who has scored 137 test points‚ said it was an honour to be appointed as captain of the Springboks.

“To play for the Springboks is a big honour and the captaincy comes with a huge amount of responsibility‚” Lambie said.

“South Africa has a proud rugby tradition and the whole squad are excited to represent our country against the Barbarians.”

Coetzee will name his team on Thursday and it is a clear indication that Lambie will start in his preferred flyhalf position.

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