Willie le Roux will not continue his career in South Africa after the 2019 Rugby World Cup.
In an anticipated development, Wasps on Tuesday announced that Le Roux, 29, would be leaving the English Premiership club at the conclusion of this season.
The Springbok and Wasps fullback had been linked with the Bulls in a possible return to the Republic next season, but it has been confirmed that he will instead join Jake White at Toyota Verblitz on an exclusive deal that rules out any off-season stints, such as participating in Super Rugby.
“It’s always disappointing to lose players of such quality but this is professional sport and there isn’t much you can do about it,” said Wasps director of rugby Dai Young. “There are a number of factors that play a part in players’ decisions to move on.
“Willie joined Wasps at a time when he wasn’t a part of the Springboks side and since making the move here, he has rediscovered his form and shown that he is a world-class player which in turn has seen him restored to the national side, going on to make over 50 appearances.”
Le Roux’s form at Wasps led to a Test recall and he quickly reestablished himself as SA’s first-choice fullback. However, his relationship with the club reportedly soured after Wasps docked Le Roux’s salary for every match he missed while on Bok duty.
The Bulls stepped in with a failed attempt to negotiate an early release from Wasps that would bring Le Roux to Loftus Versfeld and the 53-Test veteran has since agreed to terms with Verblitz.
— Staff Writer