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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
Tagged with : , , , , , , ,

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 what’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.”


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