Willie le Roux has not joined the Vodacom Bulls for a pension pay-out, and his role will be as significant as wunderkind Canan Moodie, writes MARK KEOHANE.
Le Roux is among a quartet of World Cup-winning Springboks who welcomed Jake White’s troops home this week from a four-week Vodacom URC tour of Europe.
The 93-Test Le Roux, back in the Republic for what may be his swansong, aims to achieve centurion status in the not-too-distant future.
Writing for TimesLIVE, Keohane praises the 34-year-old, highlighting his impressive career that has included stints with the Cheetahs, Sharks, Griquas, Wasps and Toyota Verblitz.
Keohane notes the varying opinions on Le Roux’s value but emphasises the positive impact that the veteran fullback has already made on the younger players at the Bulls, serving as a mentor and leader in training.
He, too, acknowledges the 21-year-old Moodie, a lethal finisher at wing and outside centre, and who Bok coach Rassie Erasmus can build a backline around for a third successive World Cup title.
The electric Kurt-Lee Arendse, who excelled on attack and defence in France, and Marco van Staden, showcasing a newfound versatility at hooker, contribute to the Bulls’ overall strength.
“Le Roux certainly has not come home for a pension pay-out, and his international aspiration remains in his pursuit of that 100-Test milestone,” Keohane writes.
“This week the Bulls youngsters spoke of his immediate impact, of his mentoring and tutoring, of his conditioning and fitness and of his skill set.
“He was, they said, leading the way at training, which was music to White’s ears and confirmation that his investment in Le Roux’s experience, however short term, will be as significant to a Bulls first-ever URC title as the youth brigade, led by Moodie.”