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Damian Willemse on the move again

By Rugby365
Leolin Zas of the Stormers and Damian Willemse of the Stormers during the United Rugby Championship match between DHL Stormers and Hollywoodbets Sharks at DHL Stadium on December 30, 2023 in Cape Town, South Africa. (Photo by Ashley Vlotman/Gallo Images)

Manie Libbok will play his 50th Stormers game in the Champions Cup clash with Stade Francais in Paris on Saturday.


The Round Four encounter at the Stade Jean Bouin will see the Stormers looking to secure their place in the Round of 16.

Libbok reaches the milestone in what is just his third season with the Stormers and will marshall a backline that features several changes from the combination that did duty in the win against Sale Sharks at Stadium last week.

Damian Willemse is in midfield, with Dan du Plessis shifting to outside centre.

Warrick Gelant is at fullback and forms an all-new back three with wings Angelo Davids and Ben Loader, while Suleiman Hartzenberg and scrumhalf Stefan Ungerer are among the replacements.

Hooker Joseph Dweba comes into the starting line-up, as do flank Willie Engelbrecht and No.8 Keke Morabe in the only changes to the starting pack.

Prop Kwenzo Blose and lock Hendre Stassen are also on a replacements bench that features the likes of hooker Andre-Hugo Venter, utility forward Ben-Jason Dixon and loose forward Hacjivah Dayimani.

Coach John Dobson was full of praise for Libbok, who has developed into a world-class player since arriving in Cape Town.


“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 Stormers jersey.

“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,” he said.

STORMERS: 15 Warrick Gelant, 14 Angelo Davids, 13 Dan du Plessis, 12 Damian Willemse, 11 Ben Loader, 10 Manie Libbok, 9 Herschel Jantjies, 8 Keke Morabe, 7 Willie Engelbrecht, 6 Deon Fourie (captain), 5 Ruben van Heerden, 4 Adre Smith, 3 Neethling Fouche, 2 Joseph Dweba, 1 Sti Sithole.]

REPLACEMENTS: 16 Andre-Hugo Venter, 17 Kwenzo Blose, 18 Brok Harris, 19 Hendre Stassen, 20 Ben-Jason Dixon, 21 Hacjivah Dayimani, 22 Stefan Ungerer, 23 Suleiman Hartzenberg.


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Ace 153 days ago

Clickbait, typical of Johannes de Kakhuis. Damian is not on the move to the bulls, Sharks, Japan or Toulon. He has simply been selected in a different position. But clicks, right?

Now while I ascribe the clickbait to the local lavvy, the fact that the article refers to Manie Libbok makes me think that the article might have been written by one of the r365 lackeys and not by De Kakhuis because then we would have read about “Immanuel”. And heaven forbid that Duane Vermeulen is mentioned because then Johannes de Kakhuis would’ve been referring to Daniel Johannes Vermeulen.

Well, if you haven’t any talent, you have to find something with which to entice the great unwashed …

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