Springboks

Willie le Roux on proving doubters wrong: 'You're told you'll never play for the Boks'

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Willie le Roux. (Ian Hitchcock/Getty Images)
Willie le Roux. (Ian Hitchcock/Getty Images)

Springbok fullback Willie le Roux told Bok legends Jean de Villiers and Schalk Burger about how he's always had to prove doubters wrong throughout his career.

The 2019 World Cup hero sat with the pair from the 2007 successful team on their bi-weekly YouTube chat show called Use it or Lose it.

After some uninspiring performances, Le Roux has again come under some scrutiny this international season, which he has interspersed with some brilliant moments.

Rucking with Rob Houwing | End-of-year Boks: Aiming to emulate class of 2013

The 32-year-old, who played flyhalf at Paul Roos Gymnasium, took the long road to the top, playing club rugby in Boland before getting snapped up by Griquas and the Cheetahs.

From there, he became one of the most devastating attacking fullbacks the country has seen and formed a crucial part of then-head coach Rassie Erasmus' World Cup-winning team in Japan.

"I always had to fight to prove people wrong," he said.

"At the start of my career, people would say you're too small, you won't play Test rugby, or you'll never play for the Boks - the type of game they play or game plan won't fit you.

"I had to deal with all of that when I was growing up, playing for Boland. Playing an attractive style like that, they say you only attack, and you can't do anything else.

"In international rugby, you need to be [good at] kicking, defence, reading the game, all of those things.

"I grew up with that. You definitely thought about how you got to this point in your career and that you won't get an opportunity like this again and that it's your time, so use it.

"Even if you're not 100%, go with it, see what happens."

Le Roux is on tour with the Boks ahead of their end-year clashes with Wales, Scotland, and England.

He faces stiff competition for his place after an error-prone performance in the Boks' win against New Zealand at the close of the Rugby Championship.

Clamour has risen for young Sharks apprentice Aphelele Fassi to get a shot in the No 15 jersey, with a view of blooding him for the future.

Fassi has scored two tries in two Tests playing at left wing for the Springboks against Georgia and Argentina. 

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