By virtue of being named Sharks captain for the 2017 Super Rugby season‚ Springbok flyhalf Pat Lambie has thrown his hat in the ring for the national team’s captaincy.
He was the first-choice captain last season before injury waylaid him.
Last season a shoulder injury against Toulon in a pre-season match kept him out for 12 weeks while the CJ Stander collision in the first Test against Ireland at Newlands in June saw him suffer concussion that ruled him out for more than two months.
Lambie made his Springbok comeback during the end of the year tour, but looked a yard off the pace.
With Handré Pollard also in line to assume the Bulls Super Rugby captaincy‚ it seems there will be a straight shoot-out between the two talented flyhalves for the treasured Springbok captaincy vacated by Adriaan Strauss.
Sharks Super Rugby coach Robert du Preez said Lambie’s temperament and ability to remain calm would be important for a young and dynamic side. "Pat’s talent‚ temperament and outstanding character make him an automatic choice‚" Du Preez said.
"He’s a natural leader‚ who provides great inspiration and motivation for our young players and he has all the qualities needed to be a great captain. He has supported this team all his life and understands our culture‚ which is built on the emphasis of a strong work ethic."
Golden Lions loose-forward Warwick Tecklenburg has quit the game to join his family’s farming business.
Tecklenburg played an unsung but crucial role in the Lions’ march to the Super Rugby final in 2016 with his breakdown and defensive work.
"I have many special memories of our achievements as a team‚ from winning the Vodacom Cup in 2013 up until last years’ Vodacom Super Rugby final‚" he said.
"But it has always been my intention to join my family in the farming business after rugby."