Pat, Frans get White’s backing

Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Original Content, Sharks, Super Rugby on 17 Jan 2014 at 10:26
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According to an article on the Sharks website this morning, new coach Jake White is very clear about his plans for two of the teams most talented players, Springboks Pat Lambie and Frans Steyn.

There’s been a lot of discussion in the run-up to the start of White’s tenure about rotation: Brendan Venter used the policy to great effect in the Currie Cup and in so doing, developed a strong squad with depth in most positions, while managing to keep morale high across the squad. While we don’t yet have White’s thoughts about such a system on record, one thing he has been clear about is that Lambie and Steyn will be first-choice players in his team and will play in their chosen positions (flyhalf and inside centre respectively) in every game for which they are available.

Both are confidence players and both carry the scars of positional uncertainty, which is a nice way of saying “being messed around”, earlier in their careers. White seems to have picked up on this and is determined to give these two phenomenal talents the one things they’ve never really had before, namely consistency of selection in their favoured jerseys. The value of the pair growing as a combination at 10 and 12, of course, is an added bonus which White feels is in not only the players’ best interests, but also the team’s.

“Pat Lambie will play at flyhalf for 80 minutes of every game,” says White, “and Frans Steyn will play 12 for me. It gives Pat Lambie a massive amount of confidence having Frans play beside him.”

White adds that his first priority is the good of the Sharks, suggesting that he will give players continuity in the position that suits the franchise best, even if other coaches may not necessarily agree. “We will play whatโ€™s important for the Sharks,” he says. “[It’s] not that we won’t work together with anybody, but at the same time we have shareholders and stakeholders and supporters, and along with us as a group, there are expectations, we need to be true to them. We have a philosophy about how we want to play and if it means those two play next to each other for the whole season, then we will make them the best 10-12 combination in Super Rugby.”


  • I lie the subtle dig at a certain international coach who can’t seem to make up his mind about Pat’s position and keeps messing him around.

    “He’s a flyhalf and we will play him at flyhalf and not pander to your idiotic tendencies of changing your mind like your underpants” :mrgreen: ๐Ÿ‘ฟ :mrgreen:

  • Comment 1, posted at 17.01.14 10:36:12 by Butchie34 Reply
  • @Butchie34 (Comment 1) : He’s only a flyhalf when McLeod plays….

  • Comment 2, posted at 17.01.14 10:41:37 by Uli Boelie Reply
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    Uli Boelie
  • @Butchie34 (Comment 1) : haha, yup. Must say, Jake is pretty good at saying things by not saying them.

  • Comment 3, posted at 17.01.14 10:42:21 by robdylan Reply
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  • Yoh! Excited about the potential these two have with that kind of backing.

  • Comment 4, posted at 17.01.14 10:45:06 by gregkaos Reply
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  • I believe in what is being done for this SR campaign. I trust in White. I doubted some of his calls years back when he took over as bok coach, but I was wrong and he proved in what he believed!
    EXCITING times ahead ouens!!!
    Jake believes that this is the axes around which our backline is going to fire! So do I!

  • Comment 5, posted at 17.01.14 10:54:50 by R Hayward Reply

  • Go Jake – Stick to your guns. Not sure if HM and co agrees, probably what he refers to. Best for the Pat and Frans and ultimately for the SHARKS!

  • Comment 6, posted at 17.01.14 10:57:57 by Observer Reply

  • @Butchie34 (Comment 1) : Playing 15 for ur country is better than not playing at all….

  • Comment 7, posted at 17.01.14 11:01:53 by KingsArmy Reply

  • Don’t think HM cares what JW says or do to be honest.

  • Comment 8, posted at 17.01.14 11:03:53 by KingsArmy Reply

  • Very happy that White is backing these two but reading between the lines I’m starting to get the feeling that Jake White is not as keen on the rotation system as Venter was. This is a slight worry (to me anyway).

  • Comment 9, posted at 17.01.14 11:07:34 by vanmartin Reply
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  • Not a big lambie fan [nothing new], but do rate frans. Glad these two are gonna play 80min and in every game…..maybe the rest of the country can also see what the sharks supporters are raving about.

  • Comment 10, posted at 17.01.14 11:11:08 by KingsArmy Reply

  • @Uli Boelie (Comment 2) : agree to a point. With McLoed there we can play of 9 and 10. He allows his flyhalfs oodles of time to drop or place a good kick. And the opposition has to watch McLoed as well. He also gives a lot of momentum when we play off 9. Hope Cobus pick up on experience here. I rate them both highly. This should be a great combo from 9 to 12!!

  • Comment 11, posted at 17.01.14 11:11:28 by KILLER SHARK Reply
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  • Cant anybody get Jake to comment on the Rotation Policy??

  • Comment 12, posted at 17.01.14 11:14:00 by Son Of Mayhem Reply
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  • @Son Of Mayhem (Comment 12) : I’m interviewing him next Friday. It will be top of my list

  • Comment 13, posted at 17.01.14 11:14:49 by robdylan Reply
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  • @vanmartin (Comment 9) : @Son Of Mayhem (Comment 12) :

    My concern too, if Lambie and Frans play every minute and then get injured 2 games before the semi’s then there will be no back-up with any gametime in those positions.

  • Comment 14, posted at 17.01.14 11:16:05 by Pokkel Reply
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  • @Rob; Great, looking forward to it.

  • Comment 15, posted at 17.01.14 11:20:19 by Son Of Mayhem Reply
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  • @Pokkel (Comment 14) : I think “80 minutes of every game” is a statement of policy, not necessarily an iron-clad commitment.

  • Comment 16, posted at 17.01.14 11:24:51 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 13) : Really looking forward to that article! Would it be presumptuous to ask him where or how Tim Whitehead fits into his plans?

  • Comment 17, posted at 17.01.14 11:26:42 by vanmartin Reply
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  • It will be very interesting to see who will be backup in the flyhalf birth etc, i reckon our backline will have so much extra potency and what we have been calling for in the coaching staff has been rectified almost.

  • Comment 18, posted at 17.01.14 11:27:13 by Dunx Reply

  • I like Lambie and Frans at 10/12 but they will only be dangerous if we play our forwards off 10 not 9. If forwards are playing off Lambie it then allows Frans to be a play maker off 2nd or 3rd phase if Lambie gets caught up in the play. If forwards off 9 then frans tends to just be another crashball off 10 which isnt utilising his passing ability. The 13 picked will need to be quick as there will def be a few chip kicks through from lambie and frans.

  • Comment 19, posted at 17.01.14 11:27:47 by SheldonK Reply

  • @robdylan (Comment 16) : Agreed, I think I may be interpreting his statements to literally otherwise a player like Timo Swiel would probably never get a look-in until there’s an injury. I suspect Jake is pretty keen on blooding him.

  • Comment 20, posted at 17.01.14 11:29:32 by vanmartin Reply
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  • @vanmartin (Comment 17) : I expect a very clear answer…

  • Comment 21, posted at 17.01.14 11:35:39 by robdylan Reply
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  • @SheldonK (Comment 19) : I actually said something similar last year. Lambie thrives when he is the one making the plays,not like at the Bulls/Boks where the 9 is the main playmaker.

  • Comment 22, posted at 17.01.14 11:49:45 by KingRiaan Reply

  • Rob, would be nice to hear what JW says about fetchers this time around…..first he didn’t rate them and then played two at the brumbies….

  • Comment 23, posted at 17.01.14 11:58:07 by KingsArmy Reply

  • who’s gonna play 13? my fingers crossed for paul alas the lad always gets injured ๐Ÿ™

  • Comment 24, posted at 17.01.14 12:10:26 by Poisy Reply
  • @KingRiaan (Comment 22) : Yeh 100%. Its just the old theory that you want your best creative players touching the ball more often than anyone else.

  • Comment 25, posted at 17.01.14 12:11:37 by SheldonK Reply

  • Will be an awesome 10-12 combo…now we just need one of our number 9s to really come through this year and make enough of a statement to even be considered for the bok team!

  • Comment 26, posted at 17.01.14 12:12:22 by HeinF Reply

  • @HeinF (Comment 26) : Personally id like them to play well but stay under the Bok radar so that they are available for CC selection. But maybe thats greedy

  • Comment 27, posted at 17.01.14 12:18:44 by SheldonK Reply

  • @SheldonK (Comment 27) : That is so true,would have been nice to have them the year round…my only fear is that they leave pretty easily somtetimes if there isn’t the carrot of playing for the boks…but I think partially I am just still shaking my head at Schreuder getting the nod from HM, with so much talent in SA to choose from.

  • Comment 28, posted at 17.01.14 12:22:46 by HeinF Reply

  • If deysel is one of the vc….does that mean he will play more than last year….if so where does all the other loosies fit in?

  • Comment 29, posted at 17.01.14 12:27:41 by KingsArmy Reply

  • @HeinF (Comment 28) : Yeh the Schreuder thing is puzzling. But then again all he did was carry bags.

  • Comment 30, posted at 17.01.14 12:36:38 by SheldonK Reply

  • This is a bit off topic, but i was wondering what happened to Sp Marais? I havent noticed any post about him leaving or being injured, and i saw he was not included in the tour to UK. Anybody know? Seriously rate that man

  • Comment 31, posted at 17.01.14 12:40:07 by michaellangley Reply

  • @michaellangley (Comment 31) :

  • Comment 32, posted at 17.01.14 12:51:57 by Pokkel Reply
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  • @michaellangley (Comment 31) : you should check the front page…

  • Comment 33, posted at 17.01.14 12:52:22 by robdylan Reply
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  • Great! Lambie and Frans will be AWESOME once they each settle into one position. Neither of them have ever had that luxury (except for Frans in the 2007 W/C when JDV was injured)

  • Comment 34, posted at 17.01.14 13:44:30 by [email protected] Reply

  • No matter who is in the backline it shall come down to playing for each other. That translates to quality offloads and passes. Watching Heineken cup exposed why the Northen hemisphere are way behind SA and NZ. McLoed’s 2nd try in CC final showed exactly how we should play to score bonus points

  • Comment 35, posted at 17.01.14 14:03:12 by KILLER SHARK Reply
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  • Sorry for the bad grammar texting on the fly. ..

  • Comment 36, posted at 17.01.14 14:04:07 by KILLER SHARK Reply
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  • Giving Lambie a VC spot is genius. Agree they need to play more off 10 than 9. Let Lambie make the plays and Frans the tries. ๐Ÿ˜€ I rate Cobus, but i have a feeling that this is going to be McLoed’s year. He will kick some @ss, up his price, maby ease Cobus in and retire in France.

  • Comment 37, posted at 17.01.14 15:11:29 by Southern_Shark Reply
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  • @KingsArmy (Comment 8) : I think the question should be does the Great White give a damn what HM(huge mistake)thinks

  • Comment 38, posted at 17.01.14 17:34:34 by benji Reply
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  • @KILLER SHARK (Comment 35) : @Son Of Mayhem (Comment 12) : @vanmartin (Comment 9) :agree the SH game is way superior to the NH drivel and that’s also why Brumbies last year,Crusaders,Bulls,Chiefs,Reds do not employ a weekly rotation system

  • Comment 39, posted at 17.01.14 17:43:40 by benji Reply
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  • The Great White being the best coach in the world would only play the best 12 in the world at 12 now wouldn’t he

  • Comment 40, posted at 17.01.14 17:47:53 by benji Reply
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  • @Southern_Shark (Comment 37) : we should have a great attacking structure which allows us to alternate and play off 8, 9 and 10. This is why Kanko is so important to Jake.

  • Comment 41, posted at 18.01.14 07:15:28 by KILLER SHARK Reply
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