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Libbok addresses Springbok talk

IN THE SPOTLIGHT: ‘It is still my dream to play for the Springboks one day.’

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Those were the words of Stormers flyhalf Manie Libbok when asked about recent speculation of his Springbok prospects.

Since the injury of Springbok’s first-choice flyhalf Handre Pollard and the lamentable public saga of Elton Jantjies ahead of the Rugby Championship, there have been many concerns surrounding the Springboks’ flyhalf options.

Damian Willemse first took up the pivotal role in the Rugby Championship.

However, an injury to the 24-year-old saw Frans Steyn conclude the Rugby Championship campaign as the starting flyhalf.

The Springboks No.10 worry seems to be far from buried as a fresh injury to Pollard could mean he will be out of the November tour to Europe.

Pollard aggravated the underlying knee injury during his Premiership debut for Leicester Tigers, while Jantjies’ Bok future remains in limbo.

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Thus far, Libbok, Bulls duo Chris Smith and Johan Goosen have been the names making the headlines as options for the Springbok end-of-year tour.

Speaking to reporters, Libbok said he will be grateful for a chance in the Springbok set-up.

But he does not want talk of Springbok’s call-up to overshadow his responsibility towards the Stormers.

“My focus now is just the Stormers,” Libbok said.

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“At the moment, I’m just trying to control what I can control and that’s to do my very best for the Stormers and this jersey and to put out the best performance for the team.

“Everything else will take care of itself.

“It’s always been and still is my dream to play for the Springboks one day and if the time comes now, I’d be grateful for that.”

‘The future looks bright’

Libbok was relieved of his kicking duties against Zebre last weekend, due to a sore knee.

The kicking responsibilities were handed to 20-year-old Sacha Mngomezulu, who was flawless from the tee and scored a try – adding 17 points during the team’s 37-20 win.

“I had a little knee niggle and just thought it would be best for me to not kick during the game,”  Libbok said.

“I fully back Sacha to do the job and he did a great job.

“It’s not serious. Last week there was some discomfort in the knee and I didn’t want to put pressure on it. At the moment it feels very good.”

Meanwhile,  the Cape Town franchise is spoilt for choice when it comes to flyhalf options

Stormers assistant coach Dawie Snyman could not be happier with the current depth in the position.

“What we have is great,” Snyman said.

“We built a lot of depth. Sacha is a youngster and we want to bleed him and bring him through.

“It is great that he can play next to Manie, we like to have an inside centre that’s almost like a second flyhalf that has the same skillset. The same way we used Damian during last year’s URC season

“So he is giving us that options. He is also learning from Manie and he probably has to step in when we want to give Manie a bit of a breather.

“While a guy like Kade Wolhuter played for Western Province against Pumas on Sunday.

“So in terms of that position, the future looks bright .”

@leezil07
@rugby365com

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