Patrick Lambie has usually been a firm favourite of Springbok coach Allister Coetzee. Photo: Mike Egerton, PA

He’s had to take the long road back to the top, but Patrick Lambie finally returns to the Sharks starting line-up in Super Rugby.

Lambie has battled with a back injury this year, but after playing off the bench last week against the Western Force, he will don his favourite No 10 jersey in Saturday’s clash against the in-form Southern Kings in Port Elizabeth.

Springbok flyhalf Lambie takes over from young sensation Curwin Bosch, who has joined the Junior Springboks for the Under-20 World Cup.

Saturday’s encounter at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium is the start of a critical three-week period for Lambie to prove his form and fitness ahead of the Springboks’ three-Test series against France in June.

Usually a firm favourite of Bok coach Allister Coetzee, Lambie may be in the pound seats to run out at No 10 anyway in the first Test at Loftus Versfeld on June 10.

But Elton Jantjies and Bosch have been outstanding at flyhalf this season, and Coetzee would want the 26-year-old Lambie firing at full throttle.

Following the Kings game, the Sharks will face the Sunwolves in Singapore and the Stormers in Durban before the June Test window.

For Saturday’s match, coach Robert du Preez has also included Lwazi Mvovo at left wing in place of Sbu Nkosi, while a revamped front row sees Tendai Mtawarira and Franco Marais back in harness.

Sharks assistant coach Sean Everitt told the Sharks website: “Pat is our captain and a player that the youngsters look up to, so he’ll bring calmness and strong leadership, which will make the job easier for the guys around him.”

Saturday’s match starts at 5.15pm.

Sharks Team

15 Rhyno Smith, 14 Kobus van Wyk, 13 Lukhanyo Am, 12 Jeremy Ward, 11 Lwazi Mvovo, 10 Patrick Lambie (captain), 9 Michael Claassens, 8 Daniel du Preez, 7 Jean-Luc du Preez, 6 Philip van der Walt, 5 Ruan Botha, 4 Etienne Oosthuizen, 3 Coenie Oosthuizen, 2 Franco Marais, 1 Tendai Mtawarira.

Bench: 16 Chiliboy Ralepelle, 17 Thomas du Toit, 18 Lourens Adriaanse, 19 Stephan Lewies, 20 Tera Mtembu, 21 Cobus Reinach, 22 Garth April, 23 Sbu Nkosi.

Independent Media

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