Lambie to lead Boks

Patrick Lambie will captain the Boks in their international match against the Barbarians at Wembley Stadium in London this Saturday.

Allister Coetzee confirmed on Monday that Adriaan Strauss, who has led the Springboks in all of their nine Tests so far this year, will be rested for the Barbarians match. 

With Strauss not considered, Coetzee said Lambie was a natural choice for the captaincy.

'Patrick was always part of the leadership group and part of the spine of the Springbok team. He has excelled as a leader at franchise level and has the respect of his peers. 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.'

Strauss will retire from international rugby at the end of the year, but Coetzee said the veteran hooker still had an important role to play in the squad.

'He will provide support to Patrick and also help Bongi [Mbonambi] and Malcolm [Marx] with technical detail. He has bought into my succession plan that I want to give Bongi and Malcolm more playing time on this tour. He understands the bigger picture and he will be back to lead the team again against England at Twickenham next weekend.'

Coetzee will name the Springbok match 23 on Thursday afternoon, with no Test caps set to be awarded for this match.

The Bok coach has included 12 uncapped players in his squad for the opening match of the tour, and said he is excited about the prospects of playing a quality Barbarians outfit, coached by Robbie Deans and Will Greenwood.

'I think Robbie Deans assembled a squad with a lot of experience and also exciting young players,' said Coetzee.

'If you look at the composition of that squad, you'll see there are a couple of South African players such as Robert du Preez, Kwagga Smith, Ruan Ackermann and Clayton Blommetjies. They added experienced players such as Ruan Pienaar, Andy Ellis and Luke Whitelock, who have all played Test rugby.'

The Bok coach added that he expects the Barbarians to challenge his youthful team, given their unique playing style.

'Traditionally, the Barbarians play an attacking, expansive type of game, which will be a test for us. But, we have to follow our processes and make sure we lay a good foundation and get off to a good start for our tour.'

Photo: Ryan Wilkisky/BackpagePix

Post by