Khanyiso Tshwaku | 2017-05-05 07:41:41.0
Pat Lambie’s timing in terms of returning to action could not have been more immaculate. File photo
Image by: MARK NOLAN/GETTY IMAGES
With Curwin Bosch’s talents being required by the under-20s, Pat Lambie’s timing in terms of returning to action could not have been more immaculate.
Having missed the bulk of the Super Rugby campaign with a vertebra injury, the Springbok utility back will start on the bench in tomorrow’s clash against the Force at Kings Park Stadium in Durban.
Coach Robert du Preez’s relief was palpable, especially after the Sharks survived a bruising encounter against the Jaguares in Buenos Aires last Saturday.
Bosch will be absent from next week onwards as the under-20s gear up for their age-group World Cup, where the prodigiously talented playmaker will be required to lift Chean Roux’s side to greater heights.
“It’s great to have Patrick back, especially with the fact that Curwin is not going to be available to us,” Du Preez said.
“We were a little bit concerned Patrick wouldn’t be coming back in time because of Curwin’s departure but it’s worked out very well. We would have wanted to give him some decent game time, but it’s fine.
“He’s in great spirits and he’s looking great.”
Blockbusting flanker Philip van der Walt retains the captaincy after his abrasive showing in South America, with winger Sibusiso Nkosi set to make his debut in place of the rested Lwazi Mvovo.
It would be easy to say the Sharks are fielding a weakened team but the Force cannot be underestimated. Ruan Botha swaps with Stephan Lewies, while Odwa Ndungane makes way for Kobus van Wyk.
The last thing Du Preez wants is a scrap similar to the one the Sharks found themselves in against the Rebels two weeks ago when they drew 9-all.
Du Preez said they wanted to repay their fans for wasting their money on that weekend.
“We were disappointed after the Rebels and we asked for a big performance against the Jaguares and the boys did exactly that.
“We’ve certainly learnt the hard way that there aren’t any easy games in this competition and we’ve always said that.
“We’ll take one game at a time and we’ve got the Force to contend with this weekend. That’s our focus and we owe our fans a big one,” Du Preez said.