Get Newsletter

VIDEO - Bok fullback saves the last dance for the Bulls

VIDEO: Jake White, the Bulls’ Director of Rugby, has called him the coach on the field and fullback Willie le Roux might just pursue that as a career one day.

ADVERTISEMENT

Springbok captain Siya Kolisi called him ‘Majaivane’, the one who always dance, but some also call him ‘Spiders’ or ‘Grumpy’.

Maybe he should be the first to have the position “all-back” instead of fullback, because his whereabouts and role defy all convention.

The 34-year-old Le Roux has settled in comfortably at the Bulls and from the out-set White lambasted those who dared to criticise the World Cup-winning Springbok.

“He is very skillful and clever. I am really happy he has come to the Bulls. You can see the impact he has on our wings. It’s like having a coach on the field. I have no doubt that as long as he stays healthy, he will make it very difficult to kick him out.”

Le Roux is one of those players who is either loved or hated.

He is always on the move, always looking to get the ball for a quick tap or kick-off, and often chirps the referee.

ADVERTISEMENT

He has had an illustrious career and according to the man himself he is not done yet but coaching one day might be on the cards.

The fullback made his Super Rugby debut in 2012 and his international debut against Italy in Durban in 2013.

After spending time with Boland and Griquas, he quickly established himself as one of the top backs in the country and was subsequently called up to the Cheetahs Super Rugby squad in 2012.

Numerous top-draw performances for the Cheetahs followed and the national side came calling. He earned his Test debut at the age of 24.

ADVERTISEMENT

His performances at international level catapulted him onto the world stage as he was first awarded the South African Players’ Association Player of the Year in 2013. And then he was nominated for the World Player of the Year award in 2014 alongside Julian Savea, Johnny Sexton, Duane Vermeulen, and eventual winner Brodie Retallick.

After short stints with the Eagles in Japan and the Sharks, English Premiership side Wasps announced he would join them in January 2017.

He was an immediate hit at Wasps as he helped the Coventry-based club reach the Premiership final in his first season. This saw him set a Premiership record of 21 try assists during the regular season.

In May 2018, Le Roux was recalled into the Springbok fray by new Springbok coach Rassie Erasmus as preparations got underway for the 2019 World Cup.

Two months later, he signed a deal with Japanese club Verblitz.

2019 proved to be a very successful year for the Bok on the international stage as the Springboks went on to win the Rugby Championship for the first time since Argentina joined the competition.

He joined the Bulls in 2023 after several years in Japan, offering him an opportunity to move back to South Africa and play in front of big local crowds, something he loves to do.

Video Spacer

Le Roux sat down to talk to some reporters this week ahead of the teams’ departure to Wales for their United Rugby Championship clash with the Dragons this weekend, and was asked about his secondary role of the coach’s coach on the field.

“You get to a certain stage in your career and in your life and age-wise where you are not as you were when you started. It’s a bit different.

“And you’ve learned a lot of things along the way. I think when I started I learned from the older guys how to do things in the week and how to prepare and what they look for in games,” Le Roux explained.

“And I think it’s just inside of me to give some things that I have and how things work in a game to guys that want to know and ask me about it.

“I am enjoying that. And if there is no one asking then you just keep it to yourself. But there are a lot of young guys that want to learn.

“Even me – I want to learn from the younger guys and how they see things and how they do things so I think it goes both ways. It’s not just them learning from me, but I am learning from them as well.”

Le Roux says he hasn’t thought of his plans after rugby but coaching might just be something he will look at when the time comes.

“I haven’t thought about coaching. For me, now, it’s just about focusing on being at the Bulls and playing the best rugby I can. And we’ll see how long I can still go for.

“But definitely do not plan to stop playing rugby in the next few years so we will cross that bridge when we get there. But you never know, it might be something I am looking into when the time comes.”

Join free

Fresh Starts | Episode 1 | Will Skelton

ABBIE WARD: A BUMP IN THE ROAD

Aotearoa Rugby Podcast | Episode 8

James Cook | The Big Jim Show | Full Episode

New Zealand victorious in TENSE final | Cathay/HSBC Sevens Day Three Men's Highlights

New Zealand crowned BACK-TO-BACK champions | Cathay/HSBC Sevens Day Three Women's Highlights

Japan Rugby League One | Steelers v Sungoliath | Full Match Replay

Rugby Europe Women's Championship | Netherlands v Spain

Write A Comment