Libbok the toast of the Stormers as he approaches 50 appearances for the franchise

A bonus-point win over Stade Francais will secure home match in round of 16

20 January 2024 - 11:30
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Manie Libbok He set to play his 50th match for the Stormers against Stade Francais in Paris on Saturday.
Manie Libbok He set to play his 50th match for the Stormers against Stade Francais in Paris on Saturday.
Image: Grant Pitcher/Gallo Images

When Manie Libbok arrived in Cape Town in 2021, it was effectively his entry into the Last Chance Saloon on the domestic rugby scene.

Stints at the Kings, Eagles, Bulls and Sharks failed to deliver on the rich promise he showed in his formative years.

Almost three years down the line, Libbok is a Rugby World Cup winner and the toast of the Stormers.

He is set to play his 50th match for the franchise against Stade Francais in Paris on Saturday.

That Libbok will reach the milestone after just three years at the Stormers is testament to the faith they placed in him and the performances he delivered in return.

Manie has been a revelation for us since joining in 2021 and he seems to get better and better. Hopefully he keeps going from strength to strength in a DHL Stormers jersey,” said Stormers coach John Dobson.

Libbok will again be the Stormers' general as they go in pursuit of a bonus-point win that should secure them home ground advantage in the round of 16 of the Champions Cup.

While perhaps not their most potent match-day 23 the Stormers have assembled a formidable squad for duty against a side that is yet to record a win in the competition.

The Stormers have made changes that should give them greater cutting edge in attack.

Damian Willemse's presence in midfield next to close Bok colleague Libbok will pose uncomfortable questions of Stade Francais' defence.

Dan du Plessis shifts to outside centre, while fullback Warrick Gelant returns to the city where the brakes were applied on his career at Racing 92.

Angelo Davids and Ben Loader complete the back three.

Hooker Joseph Dweba comes into the starting line-up, as do flank Willie Engelbrecht and No8 Keke Morabe in the only changes to the starting pack.

The Stormers pack punch among their replacement forwards with hooker Andre-Hugo Venter, utility forward Ben-Jason Dixon and loose forward Hacjivah Dayimani all waiting their turn.

We face tough opposition in challenging conditions this weekend, so we will have to step up and show that we can perform away from home to challenge for a place in the knock-out phase of the competition,” said Dobson.

Stormers to play Stade Francais — Warrick Gelant; Angelo Davids, Dan du Plessis, Damian Willemse, Ben Loader; Manie Libbok, Herschel Jantjies; Keke Morabe, Willie Engelbrecht, Deon Fourie (captain); Ruben van Heerden, Adre Smith; Neethling Fouche, Joseph Dweba, Sti Sithole. Substitutes: Andre-Hugo Venter, Kwenzo Blose, Brok Harris, Hendre Stassen, Ben-Jason Dixon, Hacjivah Dayimani; Stefan Ungerer, Suleiman Hartzenberg.


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