How to play yourself into the Springboks squad
By Rugby Onslaught

How to play yourself into the Springboks squad

For any players trying to work their way into their national squad, maybe try and copy what the Stormers’ Manie Libbok did in the United Rugby Championship semi-final against Connacht on Saturday.

At half-time alone at the Cape Town Stadium the fly-half had 19 points, which included two tries, and the only points he did not score came directly from his cross-field kick.

With plenty of players in the running to deputise for Handre Pollard for South Africa at this year’s Rugby Championship and the World Cup, Libbok has made quite a statement as the Stormers aim to defend their URC title.

Take a look at his first half performance:

Ahead of the match, Stormers head coach John Dobson said: “We are thrilled to be hosting another Semi-Final and with another big crowd coming out, we want to repay the incredible support we enjoy with a fitting performance. While it is disappointing not to have Deon and Marvin in the team, we have every confidence in the players who have come in, who have all proven their worth for us already this season. It will be another great occasion at DHL Stadium and we will be doing everything we can to make our supporters proud.”

Connacht director of rugby Andy Friend said: “Last Friday night, to anyone outside the squad, we were the clear underdogs, and tomorrow will be no different. Yet for us on the inside, there is enormous belief in our ability, and that is all that matters. We enter the semi-final with the same 23 who started last week, which is great testament to our players’ toughness and resilience, and also to the work of our Athletic Performance & Medical Teams. All bodies are fit & healthy and have fully recovered from the travel down here to Cape Town.

“Tomorrow will be a huge game as we take on the defending champions in their own backyard, but these are the days you want to be involved in. Pete Wilkins and the other coaches have presented a very clever game plan, and with the confidence that’s in the squad at present, there’s genuine excitement about the challenge and opportunity that tomorrow brings.”