Anyone with a moniker “Jigga” is expected to have a certain swagger about him.
But that’s no trouble for new Bulls recruit Sintu Manjezi, one of the foremost skilled locks in the country.
The St Andrew’s College old boy joins a stellar cast assembling in Pretoria, which includes his team-mate from the Cheetahs Walt Steenkamp, Bulls golden boy Arno Botha, plus Jan Uys from French side CA Brive.
Of the big men – and there will be plenty – that will do battle for new director of rugby Jake White, Manjezi stands out as the Brodie Retallick-esque figure, a forward with immense ball skills but a smooth as silk lineout operator and energetic carrier.
He is an adept passer, can dovetail as a one of the breakdown scavengers and has the running gait and perhaps even speed of Oupa Mohoje in his prime.
It’s something he says he picked up at the franchise he has now left, the Cheetahs, and that, plus his ability to play in the back row, is what attracted the attention of a World Cup-winning former Springbok coach.
“The more skills and the more versatility you have as a player, the better it is,” Manjezi told Sport24.
“Last time I played flank was at Griquas, two years or so ago, but the kind of player I am and the rugby I play, I think I can just slot in there, based on what I already do on the field.
“The most important thing is just to be a very versatile player and to have lots of attributes that come with your game and that will always attract other unions.”
For all the handling Manjezi’s got and his industry around the breakdown, he has not abdicated his primary responsibilities as a lock forward.
The 25-year-old’s lineout work, especially in concert with Bordeaux bound Joseph Dweba, drew admirers across the country.
His white and orange-tinted scrum cap towering into a throw-in to either steal or secure own ball has become a feature of his game.
He, again, credited his abilities as a second rower to the Cheetahs coaching staff, despite the acrimonious parting of ways at the end of his time in Bloemfontein.
“There is a very good lineout coach at the Cheetahs, Corniel van Zyl, and he drove us very hard,” he said.
“My lineout work has improved. I came from Griquas where I called the lineout quite a bit and when I went to the Cheetahs I was used as a No 4 lock and I was a back-up lineout caller.
“At the time, coach Franco [Smith] was looking for more of an enforcer; someone who can stop mauls, hit breakdowns and who can carry the ball.
“Making sure I did the lineout basics well had to come with me being at this level as a lock.”
Manjezi understands the level of hard work required from him as he makes the step up to play Super Rugby, where he last played less than a handful of matches for the Southern Kings in 2016.
He compares this transition to the time he first arrived at the Cheetahs from Griquas and had to bide his time, work hard and snatch the opportunity for game time.
“I don’t think they hand out opportunities but if you go there as a player and you work hard, you will get the opportunity to play,” said Manjezi.
“They aren’t a franchise that just takes anyone and lets them play. If you want to go to the Cheetahs, you’re gonna have to work hard and I feel like I did that.
“When I first arrived, I was playing a lot off the bench, under Franco, and I had to work my way into the team. With the guidance of the coaches, I had to learn and adapt to their open brand of rugby – you have to have loads of skill, must pass and be conditioned enough to keep up with the pace.
“Those were things I had to bring into my game, so I could fight for a chance for more game time.”