Springboks

Le Roux gives Boks new edge

Willie le Roux (Gallo Images)
Willie le Roux (Gallo Images)
Durban - Fullback Willie le Roux has given the Springboks a new dimension by offering the team an unpredictable edge to their attack.

Sport24 chief writer Rob Houwing gave Willie le Roux 7.5/10 in his post-match review. Do you agree?

The Cheetahs’ chief backline weapon during this year's Super Rugby season, Le Roux was the subject of a great deal of pre-match hype, but despite the added pressure of being under close public scrutiny, Le Roux showed nerves of steel during the Boks' 44-10 victory at Kings Park in Durban on Saturday.

In a hugely impressive Springbok debut, the fullback showed rock-solid composure on defence and underneath the high-ball, and a few game-changing moments on attack.

After the match, coach Heyneke Meyer reserved special praise for Le Roux.

"It’s always tough the first game when there’s a lot of nerves," he said.

"But I really thought they played well. Willie did well... and suddenly there’s a lot of pace in the backline, so I was very happy with the guys," Meyer added.

Speaking to Die Burger following his debut-performance Le Roux said: "I realised a dream and it was really, really exciting. It all just went past too quickly.

Despite the player receiving plaudits from the rugby world for his performance, Le Roux remained grounded and believed there was room for improvement.

“I don't want to get too excited about my own performances, but overall I think things went alright tonight.”

Prior to the match against Italy, captain Jean de Villiers suggested Le Roux could bring the same excitement to the South African team that Quade Cooper brings to the Reds and Australia - and Le Roux proved his captain right.

Meyer had promised earlier in the week that Le Roux would be given free rein to express himself in attack in the same role he plays for the Cheetahs and he was true to his word, with Le Roux running rampant with ball in hand.

“Heyneke Meyer told me during the week that he wouldn’t have chosen me if he wanted me to play differently to the way I usually do,” Le Roux said.

With Bryan Habana putting on a display of utter dominance and Bjorn Basson showing some clever touches and an assured performance under the high ball on attack and in defence, and Le Roux completing the trio, the Springbok back three has shown pace, skill and flare and looks more exciting than it has in a long time.
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