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Sharks without Lambie for quarter-final

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 18/07/2016

Patrick Lambie of the Cell C Sharks goes over for a try during the round 13 Super Rugby match against the Southern Kings in South Africa. © Steve Haag/Gallo Images/Getty Images Patrick Lambie of the Cell C Sharks goes over for a try during the round 13 Super Rugby match against the Southern Kings in South Africa. The Sharks will be without Springboks first five-eighth Patrick Lambie for their Super Rugby quarter-final against the Hurricanes after failing in a bid to gain dispensation from Sanzaar.

The South African side have suffered from the same rule as the Chiefs, who have lost the services of little-used All Blacks flanker Liam Messam for the play-offs.

Lambie was deemed ineligible because he had played only three games in an injury-plagued season. Competition rules state he must have played in four or been in the squad before April 1 to be eligible.

A Sharks appeal failed as Sanzaar deemed they had sufficient depth in the position.

In better news, Springboks fullback Willie le Roux is poised to play for the first time since injuring his shoulder in the final Test against Ireland in June.

Prop Tendai Mtawarira and centre Paul Jordaan are reportedly also ready to return from injuries.

The Durban-based side will only arrive in Wellington on Thursday ahead of Saturday's game after failing to book an earlier flight.

The eighth-seeded Sharks must upset their top-qualified opponents to have any chance of ending an unenviable play-off history.

They are without a title despite reaching the knockout phase nine times, including four appearances in the final.

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