Gold to request 'special treatment'?
EXCLUSIVE: The possibility of Patrick Lambie running out in the Super Rugby playoffs remains up in the air as Sharks director of rugby Gary Gold, contradicted himself following their victory over the Sunwolves at Kings Park.
Lambie has been recovering from a concussion he suffered while on Springbok duty in the Ireland Series, following a heavy hit from CJ Stander. Since then, the pivot has been struggling and continues to show signs of the injury - a month after taking the blow.
Since Gold and the rest of the Sharks management have kept quiet about the exact extent of the injury, one can only think that the knock he took - and subsequent length of recovery - is an indication that things are far worse than initially thought.
While there may be a chance that he passes his cognitive tests for concussion, he will not be eligible to play as he has not reached the minimum qualification requirement as set out by SANZAAR.
According to the rule, a player can only qualify to participate in the playoffs if he has been part of four matchday squads during the regular season - Lambie has made just three. This is why Gold made a mad dash to bracket him in the matchday team for the Sunwolves encounter.
However, Lambie was not part of the 23 players who eventually took to the field.
When questioned about the flyhalf's situation, Gold responded that "Patrick still needs to recover from concussion." He went on to say that Lambie "will be assessed on Monday" to determine whether or not he has managed to recover.
Gold was then reminded about the eligibility rule and quickly admitted that "he [Lambie] is out, I forget."
Whether or not Gold would approach SANZAAR to apply for special dispensation - requesting Lambie be allowed to play - remains a mystery. It is quite possible that he could be waiting for the outcome of the cognitive test before making the request.
By Tauriq Ebrahim