The Understated Brilliance of Manie Libbok, the unsung hero of World Champion Springboks

The Understated Brilliance of Manie Libbok, the unsung hero of World Champion Springboks

Jarryd Westerdale
updated at November 8, 2023 at 3:52 PM
  • Manie Libbok played the most minutes at flyhalf for South Africa at the 2023 Rugby World Cup
  • Libbok produced a moment of flair in the pool phase with a no-look crosskick against Scotland
  • The Western Province playmaker looks set to be part of the squad for many more seasons to come

Continued dominance requires a conveyor belt of talent.

The Springboks' leadership have cultivated depth and have leaders in all positions across the field.

As well as personnel, the grooming of a variety of skill sets has created a flexible team that is able to adapt to all conditions and opponents.

Manie Libbok, Springboks, flyhlaf, future.
Manie Libbok played his final minutes of the Rugby World Cup in the semi-final against England before being substituted off before half-time. Photo: Lionel Hahn.
Source: Getty Images

Manie Libbok was one of the unsung heroes of the 2023 World Cup-winning team, having bravely held down the fort until Handre Pollard was needed.

Success at the level with the Western Province and the Stormers has grown into international success with his country.

At 26 years of age, Libbok has many years ahead and barring the emergence of another star or an unforeseen injury, should be part of the Springbok backline past the 2027 Rugby World Cup.

World Rugby lists Libbok as having scored 87 points, one try and 26 conversions in his 14 test caps

His rival for the number 10 jersey, and current first choice, Handre Pollard is 29-years-old, making it likely the pair will share the responsibility of the position.

Any debate around Libbok or Pollard is unnecessary, as both match-winners complement each other, with coaches able to pick the player best suited to the opposition.

Fans will be eager to see Libbok return to action in the United Rugby Championship (URC), where he was given the URC Fan's Player of the Season Award, as reported by IOL.

The Stormers are currently fourth in the URC after three rounds. They have beaten the Scarlets and the Lions, but lost away to Glasgow Warriors.

Their next three assignments are all away at Benneton, Munster and Cardiff.

Exciting news! We have a WhatsApp channel 🤩

➡️ Click to join our channel for all your favourite sports news.

Relive the homecoming at OR Tambo

Sports Brief recently reported on the delirium at OR Tambo as the Springboks arrived home from France.

The 2023 Rugby World Cup champions arrived home to be figuratively hoisted onto the shoulders of thousands.

Fans stayed behind for hours in the Monday rain to soak up every last drop of magic in the atmosphere.

Jarryd Westerdale photo
Jarryd Westerdale
Jarryd Westerdale (based in Johannesburg) joined Sports Brief after four years in the community journalism sphere. He is a two-time Alet Roux Award winner and was a finalist in multiple categories at the Forum of Community Journalism Excellence Awards.
South AfricaSpringboksRugby World Cup