Manie Libbok at fly-half for Bulls

Date published: May 17 2018

Manie Libbok will make his starting debut at fly-half for the Bulls when they take on the Jaguares at Estadio Jose Amalfitani on Saturday.

Handre Pollard takes over the captaincy from Burger Odendaal, one of three players out injured from the team that beat the Sharks in Pretoria last weekend and will slot in at inside centre.

Libbok has made six appearances off the bench for the Bulls. Injured lock Lood de Jager will be replaced by Jason Jenkins, who will partner RG Snyman for the first time this year.

The flanker berth vacated by Jenkins will be filled by Thembelani Bholi, with Handre Stassen taking over the impact role Bholi had against the Sharks.

Bulls coach John Mitchell has named Trevor Nyakane at loosehead in place of the injured Lizo Gqoboka, with Conrad van Vuuren moving into the number three jersey.

Former Junior Springbok JT Jackson has been named on the bench and will make his Bulls and Super Rugby debut if he takes to the field.

Mitchell is aware of the fact that the team has lost their nine last matches outside of the country.

“That is a nice challenge for us, to change that. We have belief in what we do and where we want to go and that will motivate us on Saturday,” he said.

“The injuries are part of rugby and we need to adapt to play without those three players. Rugby is a team effort anyway and this gives the likes of Manie, JT and Hendre a nice opportunity to express themselves.”

Bulls: 15 Warrick Gelant, 14 Travis Ismaiel, 13 Jesse Kriel, 12 Handre Pollard (c), 11 John-Ben Kotze, 10 Manie Libbok, 9 Ivan van Zyl, 8 Marco van Staden, 7 Thembelani Bholi, 6 Roelof Smit, 5 Rudolph Snyman, 4 Jason Jenkins, 3 Conraad van Vuuren, 2 Adriaan Strauss, 1 Trevor Nyakane
Replacements: 16 Jaco Visagie, 17 Nqobisizwe Mxoli, 18 Frans van Wyk, 19 Hendre Stassen, 20 Nicholas de Jager, 21 Andre Warner, 22 John Jackson, 23 Divan Rossouw

Date: Saturday, May 19
Venue: Estadio Jose Amalfitani, Buenos Aires
Kick-off: 18:40 local (21:40 GMT)
Referee: Federico Anselmi (Argentina)
Assistant referees: Paul Williams (New Zealand), Pablo Deluca (Argentina)
TMO: Santiago Borsani (Argentina)