Springboks

Willie aims to entertain

Willie le Roux (Gallo Images)
Willie le Roux (Gallo Images)
Durban - Springbok fullback Willie le Roux says he could sense an air of expectancy from the crowd every time he touched the ball when he made his Bok debut in the 44-10 victory against Italy at Kings Park on Saturday.

"It was a great feeling for me because I just want to play good rugby so that the people can enjoy themselves," the 23-year-old said after the game on Saturday evening.

"When the national anthem played I was a bit overwhelmed by the occasion because it's something that I have never experienced before.

"I didn't even position myself correctly at the kick-off. Bryan (Habana) shouted at me to wake up and get into position.

"Bryan was my hero when I grew up as a youngster and I always looked up to him. So, it was great to be able to play with him in my first test," he lamented.

The Stellenbosch-born utility back arrived in the Bok team the unconventional way.

He made his provincial debut for Boland and then went on to play for Griquas and the Cheetahs. He also had a stint in France two years ago.

"The important thing is that I finally made it to the Bok team. I had a two month trial period with the under 23 team at Racing Metro. T

"hat is where I got to meet the Italian fullback (Andrea Masi). I got to know him well and we had a little bit of a chat after the game tonight."

On his debut-performance he said: "I realised a dream and it was really really exciting. It all just went past too quickly.

"We started the game off like we said we would, but the last 20 minutes of the first half we went off the game plan a bit.

"However, I thought we really ended off the game well and the coach was satisfied.

"Personally I think I made a few errors. Two passes didn't go to hand and one kick went over the dead ball line. But if you try things you are bound to make a few mistakes.

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

"The coach told me in the week that he won't select me in the side if he does not allow me to play my game.

"So, I tried to get involved as much as possible and not only stand around at the back to wait for the ball to come to me.

"I didn't come into the line much at flyhalf, but rather popped up in the centre position. I allowed him (Morné Steyn) to rather make the calls from flyhalf.

"I caught two high balls. The coach told me to defend and not just run with the ball. So I think I made a few tackles as well," he joked.

"I think there are quite a few areas I can improve on. It was my first cap and perhaps I tried a bit too hard.

"For me it's not always about scoring the try myself. But I would rather make the last pass and create opportunities for my team-mates to score," he added.
 
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