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VIDEO: Brown outlines 'improvements needed' for Pollard & Libbok

IN THE SPOTLIGHT: The Springboks’ new attack coach Tony Brown is on a mission to get the best out of the team’s playmakers Handre Pollard and Manie Libbok.

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Pollard and Libbok head into the Springboks’ two-Test series against Ireland as the leading flyhalf options.

The Leicester Tigers flyhalf, Pollard, has been the outstanding Test No.10 over the last few years, leading the Springboks to back-to-back World Cup titles with his accuracy from the tee.

Libbok, meanwhile, has been vital for Stormers in the United Rugby Championship, producing some magic with the ball in hand.

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While the pair are still regarded as the top two options, with Pollard in front of the queue, they do face stiff competition in the form of recent debutants Sacha Feinberg-Mngomezulu and Jordan Hendrikse.

Speaking to reporters Springboks attack coach Tony Brown pinpointed the key areas he is working on with each player to enhance their overall game.

“We’ve tried a few things and got them to do different stuff,” Brown told reporters ahead of the much-anticipated Test against Ireland.

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“With Handre being a little bit older and having been around a long time, I’m hoping that with a bit more time, we can build a good partnership and get him playing an exciting game.

“When I watched him play Under-20, he was the most dominant flyhalf at the gainline in the world as a 20-year-old.

“If we can get back to the same footy, that would be amazing.

“Guys like Manie Libbok, Sacha Feinberg-Mngomezulu and Jordan Hendrikse, play the game a little bit differently.

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“Understanding them as players and their understanding of me as a coach will develop over time.

“The best thing from my view is they’ve all got amazing skill sets.

“They can all push themselves and challenge themselves to be better players.

“It’s exciting for me.

“Hopefully, it’s exciting for them to get coached differently.”

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The former All Blacks flyhalf revealed that the crucial focus area for Libbok is goalkicking.

“Manie has had a few issues, but when he practices he is a quality goalkicker.

“It’s a matter of him getting a bit more comfortable on the big stage and I am sure he can fix that pretty quickly.

“The other two boys [Sacha Feinberg-Mngomezulu and Jordan Hendrikse] are pretty good.”

The World Champs are spoilt for choice in the flyhalf department.

In contrast, Brown said Ireland has a massive hole after veteran flyhalf Johnny Sexton retired.

“With Johnny Sexton, who was probably Ireland’s greatest player, retiring after the World Cup, it’s left a massive hole for Ireland,” Brown stated.

“However I think the young Crowley has done a fantastic job.

“He’s been dominant in the Six Nations and looks like a fantastic player for Munster.

“He doesn’t seem nervous on the field at all. I think he’s fitted in pretty nicely.”

@leezil07

@rugby365com

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