Pat Lambie has been called up to attend an SA Under-20 training camp, meaning he may well miss the Sharks Super 14 match against the Lions in a few weeks’ time.
Coach Eric Sauls has invited a massive 38 players to the camp, which is all about fine-tuning game plans and then narrowing the attendees down to a 26-man squad to travel to Argentine in June, for the IRB Junior World Championships. Sauls has had a good opportunity to look at a large group of candidates in the run up to this camp, having chopped and changed the Baby Bok team regularly during the tour to France and incoming friendly series against Argentina earlier this year.
Mwandile Mjekevu is the only other current Super 14 player to be invited to the camp and the indications are that attendance will be mandatory in order to be considered for selection for the Argentina trip. To my mind, that’s just a little silly. Lambie and (to a lesser extent) Mjekevu have shown ability to compete at Super 14 level and should thus be automatic selections for the World Championship squad, without needing to miss Super 14 games to attend training camps. I can see a massive tug-of-war ensuing as I can’t see why the Sharks would want to allow one of their best players to leave the squad during the season. The likely victim here is the player himself, who may just miss out on an opportunity to represent his country because, ironically, he’s too good to miss a Super 14 game.
The Sharks are well represented in the group, aside from Lambie. Hookers Shaun Malton and Monde Hadebe are there, as they have been for much of the year, along with locks Kene Okafor and Peet Marais. Lubabalo Mthembu, a loose forward and Sbura Sithole, who recently made his Sharks XV debut on the wing, are the other Sharks representatives.
SA U20 38-man provisional squad – Tythan Adams, Garth April, Mlungisi Bali, Brummer Badenhorst, Clayton Blommetjies, Ruan Combrinck, Sebastian De Chaves, Ruan Dreyer, Branco du Preez, Christiaan du Rand, Francois du Toit, Divan Ferguson, Monde Hadebe, Adri Jacobs, Elton Jantjies, Patrick Lambie, Helmut Lehmann, Peet Marais, Sampie Mastriet, Sam Mabombo, Wandile Mjekevu, Lubabalo Mtembu, Frederick Muller, Sinovuyo Nyoko, Kenechukwu Okafor, Jono Ross, Nico Scheepers, Louis Schreuder, Lean Schwartz, Sibusiso Sithole, Christiaan Stander, Jaco Taute, Shaun Malton, Gary van Aswegen, Marcell van der Merwe, Hendrik van der Waldt, Francois Venter, Anthony Volmink.Tweet