Photo: EPA/Lukas Coch
DURBAN - It has proved providential indeed for the Sharks that in the week that flyhalf Curwin Bosch has been called up for international duty with the Junior Boks, Patrick Lambie has passed a fitness test and has been included in the Sharks squad for Saturday’s match against the Force.

It could not have worked out better for coach Robert du Preez and indeed Lambie, who was injured against the Waratahs in round three. The prognosis was that it would take the Springbok flyhalf eight weeks to recover from a back injury and eight weeks almost to the day he will sit on the bench for this match.

In that match against the Tahs, Bosch came on for Lambie and played a blinder and has had his name in lights just about ever since, to the extent that at this stage he is the No 1 contender for the Springbok flyhalf jersey for the looming series against France.

Next week Bosch joins up with the Junior Boks for a training camp before the World Under-20 Championship in Georgia and will miss the Sharks’ match against the Kings next week in Port Elizabeth, the away match to the Sunwolves in Singapore and the home game against the Stormers on May 27.

Du Preez said it was fortuitous that Lambie has come through right on schedule.

“It is great news that Pat is back. It has all worked out well with this week’s game being the last that Curwin will play for us until the end of the Under-20 Champs. We were worried that Pat would not make it back in time, but he has. We will look to give him some good game time off the bench on Saturday.”

We can assume that Lambie will then slot back in at 10 for the matches against the Kings and hopefully the Rugby Gods will smile favourably on a player that has had more than his fair share of injuries.

Du Preez has made some interesting changes on the wings. He is giving a debut to explosive 2016 SA Under-20 wing Sbu Nkosi in place of Odwa Ndungane, and Kobus van Wyk is back from injury for Lwazi Mvovo.

In the forwards, there is the customary rotational switch at lock, with Etienne Oosthuizen swopping places with Stephan Lewies, and Ruan Botha retaining his place.

Coenie Oosthuizen was on the bench against the Jaguares but is back in the starting line-up for Lourens Adriaanse and Chiliboy Ralepelle is retained at hooker ahead of Franco Marais.

Thomas du Toit is preferred at loosehead prop for The Beast, who is on the bench.

The Mercury

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