United Rugby Championship

Libbok to make Stormers debut in Treviso

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Manie Libbok during a Stormers training session. (The Stormers/Twitter)
Manie Libbok during a Stormers training session. (The Stormers/Twitter)

Manie Libbok will make his Stormers debut at flyhalf in their opening United Rugby Championship encounter with Benetton in Italy on Saturday.

The Stormers get their campaign underway against the Italian side in a match that kicks off at 14:00 on Saturday at the Stadio Monigo in Treviso.

Libbok will link up with scrumhalf Paul de Wet, while Stefan Ungerer is also set to make his Stormers debut from the bench when he comes on for De Wet in the second half.

Rikus Pretorius and Ruhan Nel are in midfield, with Warrick Gelant, Sergeal Petersen and Edwill van der Merwe forming a dangerous back three.

In the forward pack, Springbok hooker Scarra Ntubeni will have Leon Lyons and Neethling Fouche either side of him, with Ernst van Rhyn and Salmaan Moerat in the second row.

Deon Fourie and Willie Engelbrecht are on the flanks, with Evan Roos starting at No 8 and Nama Xaba set to make an impact from the bench.

Ntubeni, Moerat, Roos and Gelant are all making their return from injuries which saw them miss the final stages of the Currie Cup.

Stormers coach John Dobson told the team's official website they are determined to get their campaign off to a positive start.

"We have named a strong team for what we know will be a big challenge to start this exciting new era.

"It has been a great week together here in Treviso and we are looking forward to seeing what these combinations can do," he said.

Teams:

Benetton

TBA

Stormers

15 Warrick Gelant, 14 Sergeal Petersen, 13 Ruhan Nel, 12 Rikus Pretorius, 11 Edwill van der Merwe, 10 Manie Libbok, 9 Paul de Wet, 8 Evan Roos, 7 Willie Engelbrecht, 6 Deon Fourie, 5 Salmaan Moerat (co-captain), 4 Ernst van Rhyn (co-captain), 3 Neethling Fouche, 2 Scarra Ntubeni, 1 Leon Lyons

Substitutes:16 Andre-Hugo Venter, 17 Dian Bleuler, 18 Sazi Sandi, 19 Adre Smith, 20 Nama Xaba, 21 Stefan Ungerer, 22 Tim Swiel, 23 Juan de Jongh

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