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Then and Now: Hanro Liebenberg

SPOTLIGHT: Some are just born to lead.


And that phrase is certainly true when it comes to 24-year-old Hanro Liebenberg.

Born in Cape Town, Liebenberg had the tendency to downplay his significance in a team.

Yes, as the brother of former South African Under-20 captain Wian Liebenberg, Hanro had some big boots to fill. Despite the huge pressure, leadership was a trait Hanro was accustomed to.

In 2013, fresh from Craven Week trials, the then 18-year-old Liebenberg had to captain HTS Drostdy in the Classic Clash against Worcester Gimnasium.

With the prospect of making the Boland Craven week team, a young leader already showed great maturity by putting his personal goals aside and fully focussing on the team.

A game against Worcester was ‘massive’ and all he wanted to do was ‘make the school proud’.


And he certainly went on to do just that.

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In his final school year, Liebenberg captained the 2013 Boland at the Craven week and scored two tries in their match against the hosts Limpopo Blue Bulls in Polokwane.


After his youth career, Liebenberg joined the Blue Bulls and represented the Blue Bulls Under-19 side in the 2014 Under-19 Provincial Championship.

2015 was his breakout year. The versatile loose forward was selected for the Bulls Super Rugby squad. He made his debut off the bench against the Hurricanes.

The same year he was named captain of the side for the 2015 World Rugby Under-20 Championship, emulating his brother.

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Liebenberg is one talented rugby player and at just 22-years-old he captained the Bulls on a few occasion during the 2017 season.  He came close to a Springbok call-up in 2017. However, injury disrupted his season and ended that hopes.

He had a short stint with French Top14 side Stade Français in 2018 before returning to the Bulls.

The 24-years-old’s ball carrying skills and overall game management as a No.8 made him a hot property to overseas sides.

Thus, after 44 appearances in Super Rugby for the Bulls and eight tries, Liebenberg announced that he signed a deal with Premiership side Leicester Tigers – joining the South African exodus to the North.

Compiled by Leezil Hendricks

*For Liebenberg’s full captain’s profile CLICK HERE!

*Also Read:

Then and Now: Handre Pollard
Then and Now: Thomas du Toit
Then and Now: Selvyn Davids


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