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Ken Borland

Lambie returns for Springboks

Posted on June 14, 2012 by Ken

Pat Lambie returns at fullback while prop Werner Kruger and wing Bjorn Basson come on to the bench in the only changes to South Africa’s side for the second Test against England, Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer announced on Wednesday.

Lambie, who came on for the second half of South Africa’s 22-17 first Test win over England in Durban, replaces the injured Zane Kirchner. The Sharks utility back was the starting fullback during the Springboks’ World Cup campaign last year.

Kruger is a tighthead prop who comes in for Coenie Oosthuizen, who can play on both sides of the scrum but suffered a neck injury last weekend that will keep him out of the rest of the series.

Dean Greyling, a similarly versatile front-ranker, was called into the squad this week, but Meyer told a news conference in Johannesburg on Wednesday that specialist Kruger had been brought into the 22 because starting tighthead Jannie du Plessis is being managed for a calf injury.

“Greyling is a very good impact player and can play both sides, but Jannie has a slight injury so we wanted specialist cover for him,” Meyer said.

The Springbok coach said he was not expecting to lose anything with Lambie replacing Kirchner.

“Pat’s a great player and still very young – people forget he’s just 21. He brings something different, more attacking options, and he had a superb second half last week. In training, he’s shown some brilliant touches in attack.

“Zane is a very good tactical kicker, but I’ve been meeting with Pat, who is also a great kicker, but I want him to improve his tactical kicking. He’s very good under the high ball and very good defensively even though he’s not very big, so we won’t lose much and I’m very confident he will do well,” Meyer said.

“I wanted to keep some continuity in the team because they played reasonably well last week and there are a lot of youngsters who will now know the game plan better,” Meyer said in explaining his decision to make just one injury-enforced change to the starting line-up.

Basson, who takes┬áLambie’s place on the bench,┬áhas claimed six test caps since making his debut in 2010 and his strength is in competing for the ball in the air.

Team – 15-Pat Lambie, 14-JP Pietersen, 13-Jean de Villiers, 12-Francois Steyn, 11-Bryan Habana, 10-Morne Steyn, 9-Francois Hougaard, 8-Pierre Spies, 7-Willem Alberts, 6-Marcell Coetzee, 5-Juandre Kruger, 4-Eben Etzebeth, 3-Jannie du Plessis, 2-Bismarck du Plessis, 1-Tendai Mtawarira. Bench: 16-Adriaan Strauss, 17-Werner Kruger, 18-Flip van der Merwe, 19-Keegan Daniel, 20-Ruan Pienaar, 21-Wynand Olivier, 22-Bjorn Basson.

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