Libbok looking to thrive in Sharks backline

Flyhalf remains Manie Libbok’s preferred position, but the Sharks’ new recruit has highlighted how he wouldn’t be confined to one role even if selected at fullback.

In a snippet from the upcoming SA Rugby magazine – which will be on sale from Friday – Libbok chatted to MIKE GREENAWAY about the reasons why he sought an exit from Loftus, and how he found a happy home at the Sharks.

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Libbok is capable of playing in multiple positions in the backline, but after receiving limited opportunities at flyhalf while with the Vodacom Bulls, he is now hoping to reinvigorate his senior career in Durban.

‘I train with the Sharks as a flyhalf, they know that is my preferred position, but that I am also at home at fullback, and [coach] Sean Everitt knows that I am available for wherever he needs me to play,’ Libbok says.

While Bosch remains the incumbent flyhalf at the Sharks, there is little doubt that Aphelele Fassi will retain first rights to the No 15 jersey, but Libbok is sure to add healthy competition and depth.

Libbok says that if he finds himself at 15, he will simultaneously have a flyhalf role.

‘A significant thing about the way the Sharks play and this is a growing trend in rugby is that the fullback is not confined to that role. There won’t be that much difference between flyhalf and fullback because I will often be first receiver. That is where the game is going … If Curwin is at 10, we will have a flyhalf on either side of the ruck. I will be the first receiver a lot and not just stuck at 15.’

Commenting on Libbok’s arrival, Everitt said the Sharks had ‘no hesitation in bringing him to Durban when we heard he was available and willing’.

‘We had always found him a tricky customer when he played against us. He has X factor and posed a problem for our defence, so he will add to the attacking flair that we have been building in our team.

‘Also, we needed to bolster our backline stocks and a quality player like Manie, with his excellent skill set and ability to kick with both feet, means he is well suited to our game model and can give us options at flyhalf, centre and fullback.’

ALSO READ: Why Libbok left the Bulls

*The full Libbok feature can be found in the latest SA Rugby magazine, on sale this weekend.

Photo: Howard Cleland/The Sharks

Post by

Craig Lewis