Mvovo impresses White at fullback

2014-04-02 00:00

COULD Lwazi Mvovo be a regular fullback for the Sharks, and perhaps the Springboks?

Sharks coach Jake White would feel the speedster could get the job done after entrusting him with the number 15 jersey when they beat the Waratahs in Durban last weekend.

During last week, White had mentioned after picking his squad that with Gio Aplon moving to France, he believed that Mvovo could also be an option at fullback for Heyneke Meyer.

After the game, White felt his selection of Mvovo at fullback was justified.

Mvovo, who normally plays on the left wing, didn’t put a foot wrong and put in a solid performance after White had shown belief that he could do the job in the number 15 jersey.

“I thought Lwazi was outstanding. A lot was made about that switch and there people asking, ‘Why?’.”

“Lwazi’s a fantastic rugby player and I think when you look at Israel Dagg, if you look at Cory Jane, Ben Smith, if you look at Willie le Roux, Gio Aplon, they can all play wing and fullback,” White said.

“I don’t know why people were so amazed when I moved Lwazi there. He’s a 50-odd game Super Rugby player, he’s a Test rugby player.

“ He enjoys open space and coming into the backline; he enjoys finishing, so I had no doubts of putting him there and giving him a bonus of playing outside of the backs we do have,” he said.

“I’m really happy with his performance.”

Another player who was not in his regular position was flanker Willem Alberts, who shifted to the second row.

Of course, the big man was no stranger to lock having played there for the Springboks.

“I feel a bit sorry for him because he doesn’t really want to play lock and I don’t mean that he said he doesn’t [want to play there], but his preferred position is to play in the back row.

“To have four loose-forwards playing in a pack, and to have four wingers afforded us the luxury of having eight guys who could make sevens teams,” said White.

Alberts made an important contribution early on in the game when he stopped Adam Ashley-Cooper who was on his way to scoring the first try of the game.

“I don’t think he wants to play lock, but he might have to play there for a while,” he said.

With the team not playing this weekend, White said some of his squad would be released to play in the Vodacom Cup to give them game time ahead of the long stretch of games coming up for the Sharks.

“Some guys will play in the Vodacom Cup. We have Boland away and there are guys who need game time. Other guys will have some extra running and I think there are some guys who need some conditioning only because they haven’t had much game time.

“And then the other guys who have played a lot of rugby will have the whole week off and we’ll re-group on the weekend,” White said about the workload of his team for the next couple of days.

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