Bulls flyhalf Manie Libbok is thrilled at the prospect of going under former Springbok World Cup-winning coach Jake White’s tutelage. Photo: Reuters/Henry Browne
Bulls flyhalf Manie Libbok is thrilled at the prospect of going under former Springbok World Cup-winning coach Jake White’s tutelage. Photo: Reuters/Henry Browne

Libbok delighted to have White joining the Bulls

By Sibusiso Mjikeliso Time of article published Mar 31, 2020

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Bulls flyhalf Manie Libbok is thrilled at the prospect of going under former Springbok World Cup-winning coach Jake White’s tutelage.

White was last week confirmed as the new Bulls director of rugby and assumes the position with immediate effect. As of 2021, White will also take the coaching reins from current head coach Pote Human.

White’s patented direct coaching style and acerbic tongue have in the past brought the best out of players and indeed he can claim to have improved quite a few during his time at the Brumbies and the Sharks.

For an impressionable young flyhalf like Libbok, 22, White could provide the rocket fuel that propels the former SA Under-20 star into an international calibre pivot.

“Yes, I’m excited to have a guy like Jake White around Loftus,” Libbok said.

“For a young guy like me that still has a lot to learn about the game, it makes me excited to have someone of his profile (coaching us). I know about his successes as well and I know I will improve under him.

“He’s going to have a big influence on my game. I always learn from every coach that I’ve played under and I know he’s going to show me even more about the game. It’s really exciting and we think the union will be in good hands with him as director (of rugby).”

Libbok, throughout his youth and senior career, has been sent from pillar to post in the backline, playing fullback, wing and outside centre. He confirmed that his preferred position was flyhalf, where chances for starts were scant at the start of the season, with veteran Morne Steyn gobbling up the minutes.

“To be honest, flyhalf has always been my first preferred position,” he said.

“But wherever the coaches feel they need me in another position, I will play there because of my ability to play various positions in the backline. Flyhalf is the one I’d choose, though.”

After the Bulls went four games straight without victory, widespread clamour for Libbok to start at stand-off grew and Human eventually caved.

When he eventually got his start against the Higlanders at Loftus, alongside his Junior Springbok half-back partner Embrose Papier, he steered the Bulls to their first and only win of the season.

“I was hungry to play, so it felt good to start my first game against the Highlanders,” said Libbok.

“I enjoyed playing with Embrose and we complement each other very well. He’s a good friend of mine as well and that plays a big factor on the field.

“There are some things I don’t have to say, he can just read it from my body language. I know his strengths and his weaknesses and he knows mine.

“We understand each other very well. We gel nicely together because of the experiences we’ve shared.”

@Sbu_Mjikeliso


The Star

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