Sun 31 Jul 2022 | 09:19

Willie le Roux: 'If they don’t criticise, they don’t care'

Willie le Roux: 'If they don’t criticise, they don’t care'
Sun 31 Jul 2022 | 09:19
Willie le Roux: 'If they don’t criticise, they don’t care'
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SPOTLIGHT: Veteran Springbok fullback Willie le Roux has an incredibly positive view when it comes to the endless criticism directed towards him.

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Le Roux is clearly not everyone’s cup of tea and there remain lingering questions about his involvement with the Bok squad.

The Springboks seem to have a steady supply of fullbacks waiting to make the No.15 jersey their own.

Damian Willemse, who started two of the three Tests in the recent series against Wales, seems to be the frontrunner to take over and then there is also Warrick Gelant, Aphelele Fassi and even star wing Cheslin Kolbe.

However, Le Roux, who made two appearances off the bench in the July series, is a favourite of the Bok coaching team and it is clear that he is still very much part of the plans heading into next year’s World Cup in France.

Whether it is his kicking game, fielding high balls, his running lines or overall decision-making – there is always something to talk about after a Wille le Roux performance.

“Sometimes you play well and you still get criticised,” said Le Roux.

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“That is just how our supporters are.

“It means they care. If they don’t criticise you about anything then you know they don’t care.

“For me, it is about going out there and doing my best and then I know I got the backing of the team, the coaching staff and everyone.

“At the end of the day what they say to me matters, but if the supporters didn’t criticise then you know they don’t care about us.

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“Sometimes you just have to take that and move on and then do your best when you have an opportunity again.”

The story continues below…

New Bomb Squad member

On his recent bench roles, Le Roux admitted it was a unique experience, but it was also something he embraced.

He helped turn the tide in the second half of the first Test against Wales. The Boks were 3-18 down at half-time in Pretoria before they went on to secure a nail-biting 32-29 win.

In the third Test in Cape Town, Le Roux came off the bench to replace an injured Cheslin Kolbe in the first half.

The finish wasn’t as tense with the Boks winning that match 30-14 to secure the series.

“Being part of the Bomb Squad was something new for me,” said the 32-year-old fullback.

“When I had to go on in the second half of the first Test it was a bit funny and a different feeling.

“It was just about bringing a vibe and a lot of energy to lift everyone around me and do my job as best as I can.

“It was a bit new, but I was really excited to do it.”

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