White to play Lambie at flyhalf
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Durban – New Sharks director of rugby Jake White believes Patrick Lambie has been “messed around” in his career for far too long, and will play flyhalf for the Sharks next season.
The 23-year-old, currently on national duty, had raised debate about his best position over the last year after being fielded at both number 10 and 15.
“Let me say that Pat's a very good talent,” White said.
“To be fair to him, because he's so talented, he can actually be messed around.
“It reminds me a bit of when (ex-Springbok back) Brent Russell was here – he could play in so many positions. He's always on your bench because he's good enough, but then he tends to never find a position he can settle in.”
The former Springbok coach, though, wanted to put an end to any further questions.
“Pat Lambie is going to play at No 10, that’s it,” he said.
“He is not going to play anywhere else for the Sharks except at flyhalf.”
White was speaking after the Sharks returned to training this week for the first part of their pre-season programme, which would run until December 20.
They would then return to training, joined by their national players, on January 6 when preparations would begin for next year's Super Rugby competition.
The coach planned to sit down with Lambie – who had also featured at both flyhalf and fullback during the ongoing year-end tour to Europe – and iron out any doubts the youngster might have in his mind.
“I'll tell him where he's going to play and then make sure I give him confidence and we'll do everything we can do to make him the best in that position.
“Then, whatever the national coaches do, it's up to them.
“But I know what role I'm going to give him and we'll coach him and get him playing that role for the Sharks.”
It was difficult for anyone to assess their progress if they were being shifted around so much, he said.
“It's impossible for you to improve yourself as a player if one week you're playing 10 minutes as a fullback, the next week you're starting as a flyhalf and then the next week you're on the bench as a utility back.
“That makes it impossible for a player to ever become better consistently.” – Sapa