Pat Lambie fast-tracked into Racing colours
NEWS: Springbok Pat Lambie could make his Racing 92 debut at La Rochelle next weekend, it has emerged.
The flyhalf has been working hard on his fitness at the club’s Plessis-Robinson training ground for the past 10 days. He had passed all the necessary concussion tests, before leaving South Africa for his new club on the outskirts of Paris.
Lambie was released from his joint SA Rugby and Sharks contract to sign a lucrative four-year deal with the wealthy Top 14 side in September.
The 26-year-old has not played since picking up his second concussion during Super Rugby earlier this year. That injury followed four months on the sidelines following a concussion sustained in the first Test against Ireland in June 2016.
He was not expected to be available for another few weeks. But Racing president Jacky Lorenzetti told French rugby newspaper Midi Olympique he expected that Lambie would be named in the side for the trip to La Rochelle.
Coaches Laurent Travers and Laurent Labit will hope the new arrival can rediscover the form that has seen him do this:
If he comes through Sunday’s clash he could then take his place in the squad for Racing’s European Champions Cup campaign, which kicks off at home against Leicester the following weekend.
Lambie’s arrival was initially thought to signal the end of Dan Carter’s Racing career. But the club are reportedly keen to keep the World Cup winner on the books for one more season. Speculation is therefore mounting that Carter could move from No.10 to No.12 to accommodate Lambie in a matchday 23.
Racing signed the leading points scorer in international rugby in part to benefit from his marketing impact at their new 32,000-seat U Arena stadium. It was originally planned to open in 2014 but construction and planning delays mean it will finally open in October 2017, with a Rolling Stones concert. The first game of rugby at the venue will be the international between France and Japan on November 25. Racing will make their bow on the pitch against Toulouse in December.