No homecoming for Willie

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

- All Out Rugby Staff Writer

Let's chat

  • Barry

    Wasp have been battling a bit, both with form and finance, so it is not too surprising, particularly as Di Young was outspoken about Willies commitments to the Springboks.
    Gives some idea of Clubs stance on international selection. Whilst always wanting to put The National side first, I do also understand the angst of club owners!

  • John Comyn

    It’s quite scary how much damage Jake White has inflicted on SA rugby over time. He has relentlessly hunted down some of the cream of the crop. Not his fault of course but nevertheless!

    • Redge

      Wonder if runaway Jake will still be there by then

  • jaco

    Willie makes more basic errors in one game than Folau or B Smith have made in their entire careers. he is nowhere near the top level 15s around the world.. i am lad he is not going to keep more youngsters like Gelant or Fassi out of Super Rugby sides. the reason he left SA in the first place was because he was piss poor

    • Charles Glass

      Man, it was so frustrating as a Sharks fan watching this guy throw a shocker of a pass directly into touch, and then lose his shit because he expected someone to be there! If only he wore gloves, he could have been Earl Rose reincarnated!

      • Redge

        Yes he lifts his head as soon as he passes the ball. We were lucky that our wings handled it very well in 2018 otherwise we would’ve lost a few more matches. Sometimes brilliant but overall very average

  • Sylvester

    Some harsh things being said about a great creator from South Africans as I can judge by the names. That’s perhaps our culture of turning against our own. That’s why 80% of our best players appreciated and respected in the UK and France where before you become a judgmental pessimistic insulting fan you need to have played the game yourself, respect the game and the players.

    Has Willie made some mistakes? At times yes. Has he been a great servent to South Africa and all provinces and clubs he represented. Yes 100%. Well done Willie and hope to see you keep in top shape and see you in the number 15 green and gold in Japan come the world cup.

    PS Jake White damaged SA Rugby by taking all the best players? Players are grown men and they make decisions for their futures at the end of their careers. Maybe BIsmarck still has some international bite in him but the other players lured by Jake was standing more toward their last 4 years in Europe and therefore made the choice

    • Chris Mouton

      Spot on, mate. Rugby is a professional sport, so players can go where they please. As for Willie, he was undoubtedly one of the reasons why the Springboks started to make a comeback last year.

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