Bok newbie Libbok on Test debut excitement: 'I almost slept in my jersey'

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  • Springbok flyhalf Manie Libbok admitted he nearly slept in his playing jersey ahead of his Test debut against France last week.
  • Libbok came on in late in the game and will start off the bench in Saturday's Test against Italy in Genoa.
  • Being one of two backline replacements, Libbok said he's happy to play anywhere if it aids the team's cause.

In Genoa

Springbok flyhalf Manie Libbok admitted he nearly slept in his match jersey last week because of fever-pitch excitement ahead of his debut against France in Marseille.

Libbok, who played in the last five minutes, will be coming off the bench in Saturday's Test against Italy at the Stadio Luigi Ferraris.

Libbok said the moment was a dream come true for him, but he also allowed himself to let it sink in quietly on the eve of the Test.

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Libbok became the 931st Springbok when he got on the field last week and said the excitement of the moment had carried over from the previous night.

"I almost slept in my jersey, but on the Friday before the game, I made a point of taking time out to just have a good look at my jersey and just realising the magnitude of what it means," Libbok said.

"It's one of the biggest moments of my life so far. I'm grateful and honoured that I was able to go onto the field," Libbok said.

Springbok team:

15 Willie le Roux, 14 Cheslin Kolbe, 13 Damian de Allende, 12 Andre Esterhuizen, 11 Kurt-Lee Arendse, 10 Damian Willemse, 9 Faf de Klerk, 8 Jasper Wiese, 7 Franco Mostert, 6 Siya Kolisi (captain), 5 Marvin Orie, 4 Salmaan Moerat, 3 Frans Malherbe, 2 Bongi Mbonambi, 1 Ox Nche

Substitutes: 16 Malcolm Marx, 17 Steven Kitshoff, 18 Vincent Koch, 19 Eben Etzebeth, 20 Kwagga Smith, 21 Evan Roos, 22 Cobus Reinach, 23 Manie Libbok

"The moment was a dream come true for me. I'm grateful and honoured that I received the opportunity.

"It was a special moment for me and something I dreamt of when I was a kid. If I had the ball, I would have run from the kick-off.

"I was very emotional and excited at the same time."

Libbok was called into action as soon as he came on and in what was a predetermined kick-off move with Stormers teammate Damian Willemse, they nearly allowed the Boks to wrest back momentum.

Libbok had kicked shallow as the Boks were chasing the game and Willemse and Eben Etzebeth raced off and nearly regathered the ball.

Libbok said they needed to execute the plan of getting the ball back and they weren't upset that it failed.

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"The plan was obviously that we needed to get possession back. I just needed to execute the kick and I'm very happy that I did," Libbok said.

"It was a great chase by Damian. It was essentially just about executing the plan."

Libbok may be a flyhalf by trade, but can cover fullback and outside centre. With the Springboks employing a six-two split on the bench, it becomes important that he's able to fulfil two positions.

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Libbok said it didn't matter where he played, so long as he got a chance to play in the green and gold.

"I can cover fullback and outside centre and wherever the team will need me is where I'm going to play," Libbok said.

"It'll be a great honour to wear the jersey and it'll always remain a special moment to put it on. I'll take on the roles with everything I have.

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