Lambie preferred at No 10 for Ireland test

Last updated 08:25 08/11/2012
Pat Lambie
POSITION SWITCH: South Africa's Pat Lambie has shifted from fullback to No 10 for the test against Ireland.

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Pat Lambie has been picked ahead of Morne Steyn at first five for South Africa's test against Ireland at Lansdowne Road this weekend.

The spot was vacated when Johan Goosen was injured and couldn't tour. Goosen replaced Steyn, the Springboks' most capped No 10, at the end of the Rugby Championship as coach Heyneke Meyer tired of Steyn's predictability and drop in form.

Lambie, the backup fullback in the Rugby Championship, has started at first five only once before in his 17-test career, in a 40-7 loss to New Zealand in July 2011. Steyn will be in the reserves.

"I'm excited to see what Pat can bring to the team," Meyer. "He played very well in the last few weeks of the Currie Cup and hopefully he can bring that momentum with him on Saturday."

The only other two changes were also forced by injuries, allowing the return of winger JP Pietersen and lock Juandre Kruger.

Pietersen has replaced Bryan Habana, recently named South Africa's player of the year, and Kruger was in for Andries Bekker, who also wasn't touring.

The rest of the team was the same which lost to New Zealand in Soweto a month ago.

The reserves feature recalls for hooker Schalk Brits, who hasn't played for South Africa since 2008, and prop CJ van der Linde, who hasn't appeared since the 2011 World Cup.

"We'll be facing an Ireland team that is never an easy opponent in Dublin," Meyer said. "They will also be desperate to get back to winning ways after winning two of their eight tests this season, which, to my mind, is not a true reflection of how good the Irish really are."

Meanwhile, the Boks called up Leinster prop Heinke van der Merwe to provide cover while Gurthro Steenkamp gets over some niggles. Van der Merwe played his only test against Wales in November 2007, and toured with the Springboks at the end of the 2009.

South Africa: Zane Kirchner, JP Pietersen, Jaco Taute, Jean de Villiers (captain), Francois Hougaard, Pat Lambie, Ruan Pienaar, Duane Vermeulen, Willem Alberts, Francois Louw, Juandre Kruger, Eben Etzebeth, Jannie du Plessis, Adriaan Strauss, Tendai Mtawarira. Reserves: Schalk Brits, CJ van der Linde, Pat Cilliers, Flip van der Merwe, Marcell Coetzee, Morne Steyn, Juan de Jongh, Lwazi Mvovo.

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- AP

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