Johannesburg – Springbok flyhalf Patrick Lambie is pleased that national coach Heyneke Meyer has changed his opinions about him after the team's successful European tour.
The 22-year-old was considered more of a fullback than No 10 for a large part of Meyer’s first year in the job.
He had to be content with a bench role for England’s tour to South Africa and the Four Nations, despite his impressive form at stand-off for the Sharks.
However, the Bok coach had a change of heart over the past month, successfully starting Lambie at flyhalf against Ireland, Scotland and England.
“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' flyhalf Morne Steyn was first choice for the position at the start of the season. The Lions’ Elton Jantjies and Johan Goosen, of the Cheetahs, were also given a shot.
Lambie played second fiddle to another Bulls' player, Zane Kirchner, for the number 15 jersey during the early part of Meyer's reign, but admitted that his future was 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