Jake backs Lambie-Steyn combo
- 17 Jan 2014
Sharks director of rugby Jake White has his mind set on the 10-12 duo of Pat Lambie and Frans Steyn for the new season.
White sees Lambie as a flyhalf, whereas Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer has used him at fullback more often than not.
‘Pat Lambie will play at flyhalf for 80 minutes of every game,’ said White. ‘Frans Steyn will play 12 for me. It gives Lambie a massive amount of confidence having Frans play beside him.
‘We will play what’s important for the Sharks. Not that we won’t work together with anybody, but at the same time we have shareholders and stakeholders and supporters, and along with us as a group, there are expectations. We need to be true to them.
‘We have a philosophy about how we want to play and if it means those two play next to each other for the whole season, then we will make them the best 10-12 combination in Super Rugby.’
Steyn’s 2013 season was a turbulent one as he displayed inconsistent form and suffered injury setbacks, but White knows that he can get the best out of Steyn and Lambie.
‘I’ve known what makes Frans tick since he was a schoolboy at Grey College; I know how he thinks,’ White said.
‘His whole life has changed, he has a child now, his value system has changed, and I’m sure that will have an impact on the way he plays and prepares.
‘Last year he went through three coaches before the year ended. He likes stability, he likes to be guided without force. He is a prodigy, a sensational player, a freak. He was spoken about as the guy who could change rugby. That’s what’s so exciting.
‘I sat him down and told him I really need him to show everyone what I think he can do. That’s important, because when he’s next to Pat, you will see a much better Pat Lambie. He’s still a work in progress. He came back here and had a knee op, so he’s not 100% yet, but everyone knows what his 80% is and that’s better than most people when they’re 100%.’
The Sharks will play a pre-season friendly against English club Saracens on 25 January at Allianz Park in London. However, Lambie was not considered for selection due to him getting married and being unable to travel with the team.
Photo: Sabelo Mngoma/BackpagePix
Soaring to new heights
From the schoolboy too big to lift in the lineouts, Brodie Retallick has become close to the complete lock for the All Blacks, writes MARC HINTON.
Being a regular starter for his Japanese club has helped Elton Jantjies to regain his form and confidence, writes SIMON BORCHARDT.
Johan Goosen joined French club Racing Métro to develop his game and secure his financial future, writes GAVIN MORTIMER.