‘One of the best players in the world’, Manie Libbok, staying at Stormers

Coach John Dobson says Manie Libbok has ‘developed into a real leader’ at the Stormers. Photo: BackpagePix

Coach John Dobson says Manie Libbok has ‘developed into a real leader’ at the Stormers. Photo: BackpagePix

Published May 24, 2024


Manie Libbok says he “definitely wants to be part of the exciting vision” that the Stormers have for the future after concluding a three-year contract extension yesterday.

The Springbok World Cup winner from last year has become a top-class flyhalf in Cape Town after enduring a difficult few seasons at the Bulls and Sharks.

The 26-year-old, who hails from Humansdorp in the Eastern Cape, played for the Junior Springboks in 2016 and 2017, and had joined the Bulls in 2016 straight out of Hoërskool Outeniqua in George, having previously attended HTS Daniël Pienaar in Uitenhage.

But he wasn’t given many opportunities in the senior team at both the Bulls and then later the Sharks in 2020 and 2021, and made the big move to the Stormers later that year – and the rest is history.

Now he has decided to continue his journey in the Mother City until at least 2027, after it was reported that French club Racing 92 wanted to sign him.

Stormers teammates Sacha Feinberg-Mngomezulu, Dan du Plessis, Ruben van Heerden and Evan Roos have also recently signed contract extensions until 2027.

Libbok excelled as John Dobson’s team won the inaugural United Rugby Championship in 2022, and he made his Springbok debut against France in Marseille in November that year.

One of his most memorable moments in the Bok jersey was his no-look cross-field kick against Scotland during last year’s World Cup, which was caught by Kurt-Lee Arendse, who went on to score a try.

“Moving to the Stormers had a big positive impact on my career, and I want to continue to grow my game here,” the No 10 said yesterday.

“It is amazing to be surrounded by teammates and coaches that have such an exciting vision for this team, and that is something I definitely want to be part of.”

Dobson praised Libbok for his contribution to the team’s success, as they also reached the URC final last year, and are currently fifth on the log with one league game to go.

The pivot was the top points scorer in the URC over the past two seasons and has been at the heart of the Cape side’s exhilarating attacking play, with his mix of long-range passes, cross-kicks and line breaks cutting opposition defences to shreds, and providing openings and inspiration for the rest of the backline.

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Libbok has also brought a new dimension to the Bok style of play, and will aim to help expand the world champions’ repertoire with ball in hand ahead of the 2027 World Cup under new attack coach Tony Brown.

“Manie is one of the best players in the world in his position, but more than that, he fits our game model and understands how we want to play so well,” Dobson said.

“He has developed into a real leader in our group and is one of the key game drivers for us, so to have him part of this growing group that has committed until 2027 is fantastic.

“We have all seen what he can do at our level and on the international stage, and at 26, he still has plenty of rugby ahead of him.

“We are thrilled that he will continue to do his thing in a Stormers jersey, and hope to see him reach even greater heights here.”