Libbok switches Sharks for Stormers

Manie Libbok’s move from the Sharks to the Stormers has been officially confirmed as the Cape franchise announced the signing of the playmaker on a three-year deal.

Libbok and Griquas lock Adre Smith have both signed three-year contracts with Western Province Professional Rugby (WPPR) ahead of the United Rugby Championship.

This comes after the Stormers also signed loose forwards Junior Pokomela and Willie Engelbrecht and scrumhalf Stefan Ungerer on loan, while veteran prop Brok Harris has returned to the Western Cape on a short-term deal.

Libbok is a fleet-footed and versatile backline player, who is comfortable at both flyhalf and fullback. The 24-year-old, who grew up in Humansdorp, started his professional career at the Bulls and then joined the Sharks, but has found regular game time tough to come by in Durban.

Smith, meanwhile, is an imposing second-row forward who will add significant grunt to the pack, having helped Griquas into the semi-finals of the Currie Cup.

Stormers head coach John Dobson says that while both players will bring valuable depth in key positions in the short term, they also have the potential to develop and grow their games significantly in the years ahead.

“Manie is known as a devastating runner who can threaten from anywhere on the field and Adre brings serious power and momentum, both with and without the ball.

“These two players together embody what our team wants to stand for by being hard and uncompromising up front and then a skilful threat out wide.

“They will be valuable additions this season and we know that they will be working hard to take their game to the next level over the next three years,” he said.

The Stormers will open their URC campaign against Rainbow Cup champions Benetton in Treviso on Saturday, 25 September, before facing Munster, Edinburgh and the Dragons on their four-week European tour.

Photo: Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix

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Dylan Jack