Home RUGBY CHAMPIONSHIP 2018 Something to make ‘Americano’ day

Something to make ‘Americano’ day

The Flying Dutchmen

Rassie Erasmus has hailed Willie le Roux’s influence as the ‘backbone of the Bok team’ ahead of his 50th Test this Saturday, writes CRAIG LEWIS in Pretoria for SARugbyMag

During the 2017 June series against France, Le Roux watched the Boks as a spectator in the stands as they went on to claim a comfortable victory at Ellis Park.

It was a time when Le Roux remained out of the Bok frame, but seeing his teammates in action sparked a renewed desire to force his way back into the green and gold.

A superb 2017-18 season with English club Wasps duly earned the 29-year-old a Bok recall before the three-match series against England this past June, and he has started in all but one Test since then.

Le Roux’s experience and decision-making in a new-look back three has been integral to the Springbok cause this season, and his desire to reach the 50-Test milestone was part of the reason that saw him released from his club to feature in the final two games of the Rugby Championship.

On the eve of reaching that half-century mark against the All Blacks this Saturday, Bok coach Rassie Erasmus recounted a story of just how Le Roux had defied all his expectations.

‘I was actually just chatting to Willie about the time I was coaching at the Stormers, and he had come over from Boland on trial. I had essentially told him “no, you’re not good enough”, and he went to the Cheetahs instead.

‘Now he is the backbone of our Springbok team, and is set to play his 50th Test. So he’s definitely proven me wrong, and I’m so happy for him. He’s got a real calming influence and brings experience to the back three. I’m really proud of him.’

Le Roux’s presence and poise is said to have particularly eased the transition to Test rugby for a number of Bok backline newcomers.

One of those is star winger Aphiwe Dyantyi, who couldn’t help but smile when asked how influential Le Roux had been to his progression on the international stage.

‘Willie is an amazing guy, really amazing,’ Dyantyi emphasised. ‘I’ve learned a lot from him, and watched him play right through his career for Boland, the Cheetahs, the Sharks and the Springboks.

‘I even remember playing in the backyard, and doing chip kicks and saying “I’m Willie le Roux”. So to be playing with him now is truly amazing. I think he is a legend of the game, and as a collective we’d love to make it a special occasion for him this Saturday.’

Photo: Anthony Au-Yeung/Getty Images





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  1. Yeah it seem Erasmus contracted a malignant case of WP’itis during his tenure there. How else could you explain 12/23 players from one of the crappest unions this season?

  2. @cab:

    Rassies best achievement at the Stormpies… was his astute selection of players from grass-roots all the way up. The depth of talent he selected and structures he put in place showed exactly why the geezer should be concentrating on a DOR role for South African rugby and not having to do a hatchet job for the Bok’s as coach on top of that.

  3. Just as Roman Emperors have staked obelisks from conquered lands in ancient Rome –
    So too – has Bunny staked this article as the same honor for:
    The Messerschmitt-Willie LeRoux !
    At the -50- Test Mark !!
    Loooooooooooooooooooooooooooooong Live
    The SunKing !
    How cool would it be for BC to get off his “high horse” and comment regarding this MASSIVE MILESTONE in Springbok history?
    He’s an Andre Joubert fan.

  4. @KoosKlontjies:
    Be sure to include a link to your comment on your LinkedIn page.
    Surely prospective employers will up their job compensation to you by at least $10K given your vice-like grasp of the elusive ( to FAKE NEWS Rugby “Journos” at least ) OBVIOUS.
    Kudos to you on this comment & your profitable future !

  5. Bunny –
    Given the import of the -50- Test Milestone…….
    HOW COOL WOULD IT BE TO have a poll reading:
    Is Willie Leroux the:
    Of Rugby Union?


  6. lol – just hope he makes his tackles when Barolo and ioane is running at him and we don’t see the ‘hands in the air’. Let’s home we see the magician taking responsibility, not the foremen directing others.

  7. Hahaha… Americano… nobody comes near to your waxing lyrical prose…


    ‘Jazz hands’ I call it… Ruan Pienaar had the same inflection…

  8. So did FDP at the end. It’s when they develop a worldclass rep, bit of entitlement kicks in. In my view, at the first sign of that, you replace the player cos no good for anyone. It’s hunger and commitment, not reputation and past glories, that wins games.

  9. @Americano: drinks 50 up for the magician! Willie set to light up Loftus? Congrats on the achievement Americano & crew. We never saw this coming. He has given the Bokke some edge this season.

  10. Thank you so much BC.
    I was worried you had died or were hanging around “uppity” ZeeBull types that made you quit posting because Ruggaword is actually REAL NEWS where their evil is exposed.
    You understand.
    Looking forward to the game !

  11. Hey Benni you legend!!

    You haven’t been here for ages, please come. And write some good stuff for us again, brother!!

  12. Le Roux brilliant tonight

    I don’t give a fk about the result, the ABs were beaten all ends up and they know it. This Bok team gonna go into great things

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