South Africa

Lambie praises Meyer's shift

Tue, 27 Nov 2012 15:50
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It's really nice that he changed what he thought and gave me a chance to play flyhalf
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Patrick Lambie has praised Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer for giving him an opportunity to prove his worth at flyhalf on the year-end tour.

The 22-year-old was considered more of a fullback than number 10 for a large part of Meyer's first year in the job and had to be content with a bench role for England's tour to South Africa and the Rugby Championship, but an injury to Johan Goosen and the poor form of Morne Steyn gave him an opportunity at pivot on the European tour.

"It's really nice that the coach has changed his view," Lambie said on Tuesday.

"Initially, he said to me that he thinks I'm probably a better fullback than a flyhalf, so it's really nice that he changed what he thought and gave me a chance to play flyhalf."

Meyer said after the tour, which concluded with Saturday's 16-15 win in London, that Lambie was "brilliant" in the wet conditions at Twickenham. He also praised the player for his overall composure during the tour.

Bulls' stalwart Steyn was first choice for the position at the start of the season, with the Lions' Elton Jantjies and Goosen, of the Cheetahs, also given a shot.

Lambie played second fiddle to another Bulls' player, Zane Kirchner, for the fullback jersey during the early part of Meyer's reign, but admitted that his future is likely to be at flyhalf.

"I think things are sort of working themselves out at the moment," he said.

"It was just really nice to get to play in the flyhalf position for the Springboks and I have a feeling that's where I'll probably be used for the Sharks next year."

The utility back hailed the overall experience he gained from the European trip.

"For me personally it was awesome to get some game time and opportunities to play. I really enjoyed it and I think I got better each week."

The 20-capped Lambie is looking forward to a break before returning for pre-season training with the Sharks ahead of next year's Super Rugby campaign.

SAPA

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