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Dublin: 15 °C Friday 14 August, 2020

Pat Lambie officially released from SARU contract but can still be selected by Springboks

Lambie has struggled with concussion-related injuries since a collision with CJ Stander.

Image: Adam Davy

Updated Sep 12th 2017, 2:18 PM

SOUTH AFRICAN HALF-BACK Pat Lambie has been released from his joint-provincial and national contract in South Africa and is free to sign with French Top14 outfit Racing 92.

As originally reported by Independent Online in South Africa, the Sharks and SARU have granted Lambie permission to restart his career in Europe following a calamitous run of fortune over the past 15 months.

The 26-year-old was ruled out for five months after being knocked unconscious by the on-charging CJ Stander during Ireland’s Test win over South Africa last June. He hasn’t played since May, when he once more suffered concussion versus the Southern Kings.

Back in July, following consultation with a UK-based specialist as well as ‘clear results’ from both MRI and EEG (Electroencephalogram) exams, Sharks team doctor Alan Kourie assessed that “a period of three to six months without contact is necessary” for Lambie to fully recover from his symptoms, “after which we have no objection to him playing again.”

It had been previously feared that Lambie would be forced into retirement, but the versatile back denied such claims.

Should his move to Racing come to fruition, which now seems a formality, Lambie – a popular figure in his homeland – will still be eligible for Springbok selection due to the fact that he has amassed over 30 caps for his country.

“Patrick felt that he wanted a different challenge in his career,” explained Springbok coach Allister Coetzee.

He has been loyal to the Springboks and has had done very well for his country. It is a big loss for us but we want to wish him well with the next chapter of his career. However, having played 56 Tests for the Springboks already, he is still eligible for future selection.

Lambie made his international debut against Ireland in 2010 and has represented the Sharks on 71 occasions in Super Rugby, having joined the Durban side straight out of school.

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