Rugby World Cup winner and Springbok team leader, Hennie le Roux was an exciting player to watch and an influential voice in the squad. Learn more with Rugby365
Hennie le Roux Biography
Former president of the rugby players’ union, Hennie le Roux was not just a notable rugby player and on field leader. He helped pave the way for the more advanced systems in and around the sport which reached professional status in 1995.
The journey for the Springbok backline player started in Grahamstown, where he represented the Eastern Province schools’ team at the Craven Week tournament in 1986. A year later he would go on to play for the Eastern Province under-20 team, and finally made his senior debut in 1990.
After establishing himself he set his sights on playing for the Lions. Or rather, the Lions set their sights on acquiring him. The maverick could slot in at flyhalf or centre, making him a great asset for the back line.
Hennie le Roux’s impact was felt early in the Lions squad and saw him make it to the Currie Cup final in 1992 with a thrilling 14 - 13 defeat to the Sharks. The following year, however, the Lions would secure the CurrieCup trophy beating the Sharks 21 - 15. They would do the same the year after against Free State rivals, the Cheetahs, in a 56 - 33 tryfest final.
While playing at the Lions he also enjoyed some international competition in Super Rugby, called Super 12 at the time. The Lions, like most of the South African sides, struggled to secure gold in the tournament, not counting the Super 10 victory.
On the international test front, however, Hennie le Roux saw plenty of game time and the much elusive Webb Ellis Cup.
The commanding Springbok started his international test career at the flyhalf position against France in Durban where they managed a 20 - 20 draw. As he became a regular on the pitch he was moved to centre. Although not as big as most centres are in the current climate (1,75m), Hennie le Roux did not shy away from a tackle or adventurous run.
By the time the 1995 Rugby World Cup had come around centre was his usual position with Joel Stransky assuming the number 10 role.
The spirited Springbok would hang up his boots at the turn of the millenium, having achieved the pinnacle of rugby glory in the 1995 Rugby World Cup.
Hennie le Roux played his part as a Springbok on and off the field. His efforts within the niche didn’t only help its transition into professionalism, but to the sport becoming a lifestyle.