DURBAN - It is official. Patrick Lambie has played his last game for the Sharks and Springboks for the foreseeable future after being granted early releases from his respective contracts with his provincial union and the national body.
A press release is expected from both the Sharks and the Boks on Monday confirming that they have blessed the 26-year-old’s request to restart his career at Racing 92, the Paris club that some months ago claimed that Lambie would be joining them on a three-year contract.
It is understood that the Sharks never stood in the way of Lambie’s request to move on and have a fresh start after a despairingly unlucky start to the last three Super Rugby seasons that saw the captain crocked sooner rather than later by a series of uncannily unfortunate injuries, notably concussion related.
Saru have now released him from his Springbok contract and he will join the Paris club as soon as he is medically cleared to play, which is any day now.
From a Springbok point of view, the current ruling is that any player that has 30 or more caps and plays for an overseas club is free to be selected by the Springbok coach, so Lambie is clear on that score regarding possible national call-ups.
He can still play for the Boks at the 2019 World Cup in Japan, or sooner, unless Saru change their rules. It is understood that Lambie wants a new start to his career after a calamitous run of misfortune and he hopes that a geographical re-location might bring about a change of luck.
Lambie departs the Sharks having accumulated more than a century of caps for the Sharks having joined the franchise straight out of school. He played for SA Schools in 2008, SA Under-20 in 2010, 56 Tests for the Boks and 71 times at Super Rugby level for the Sharks and on 30 occasions in the Currie Cup.