Sharks lose captain Lambie to fractured vertebrae

Pat Lambie of South Africa kicks a penalty during their Rugby World Cup Semi-Final match against New Zealand at Twickenham in London, Britain, October 24, 2015. REUTERS/Stefan Wermuth

DURBAN (Reuters) - South Africa’s Sharks will be without captain Pat Lambie for an estimated six to eight weeks after the flyhalf suffered a fractured vertebrae in the warm-up before Saturday’s 37-14 Super Rugby victory over the New South Wales Waratahs.

Springbok pivot Lambie started the game despite his discomfort but was replaced after five minutes by mercurial teenage talent Curwin Bosch, who went on to score 27 points in the match.

“It is difficult to say exactly the approximate length of recovery will be in Pat’s case as he undergoes further scans, but his return is estimated at six to eight weeks,” Sharks team doctor Alan Kourie said on the team’s website ( on Monday.

Loose-forward Philip van der Walt has also been ruled out of Saturday’s home match against the Southern Kings with a fractured cheekbone, while hooker Franco Marais and French fullback Clement Poitrenaud will be assessed ahead of the weekend.

(Reporting by Nick Said, editing by Ed Osmond)