Lambie to switch to full-back?

Date published: May 28 2013

Morne Steyn's return to form and a lack of options at 15 could see Pat Lambie turn out at full-back for the Springboks.

Morne Steyn's return to form and a lack of options at 15 could see Pat Lambie turn out at full-back for the Springboks.

Lambie wrestled the number 10 jersey away from Steyn last year as the Bulls pivot struggled through a dip in form, as even his seemingly ever-reliable goal-kicking deserted him.

However, the Bulls pivot is playing some of his best rugby this season and with Lambie not at full force in a struggling Sharks team, it could be Steyn who turns out at fly-half when the Springboks play their first Test of the year against Italy.

“I always knew Morné was mentally tough and every player goes through a bad patch,” Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer said following a Springbok training camp in Durban.

“I don't think he played badly last year, it was just his kicking that let him down and, unfortunately for a No.10, kicking is your main thing and you have to do it well.

“I still have a lot of confidence in Pat as well. He played really well during the end-of-year tour. Between him and Morné, I think we have two established 10s and I'm very happy with the two.”

An injury to full-back Zane Kirchner and no obvious replacements at the back mean that Lambie could switch to full-back, a position he has played at for the national team on a number of occasions.

Meyer remains hopeful that Kirchner, who is still recovering from finger surgery, will be fit but admits he will have to look at other options.

“Most of the top contenders are injured, so there's probably going to be a new back three against Italy, which is a quality side when it comes to kicking,” he said.

“At this stage, there's a slight chance Zane can be ready, but it depends how it goes in the next week. You just don't want to throw a guy in that hasn't played, so we'll see how it goes.”

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