Willie Le Roux explained….

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Jul 31, 2022, 18:59

With the Boks opting to provide in-form Willemse with a starting opportunity at full-back during the July series, it would not have been surprising to see Le Roux fall out of the matchday 23 as a result, particularly considering the selectors opted for a six-two forwards-to-backs split on the bench. However, his continued selection has been a largely overlooked masterstroke.

Ultimately, the Springboks management have always always known what value Le Roux offers, with the coaches constantly looking beyond the criticism that has so often been aimed at the veteran full-back when things haven’t gone well for South Africa.

As the story goes, Le Roux even famously approached Rassie Erasmus before the Rugby World Cup final to say he would understand if he was dropped after struggling with a shoulder injury that was limiting his play. Yet, Erasmus laughed off such a suggestion, while Jacques Nienaber reminded Le Roux that he would “trust him with his life” as he handed out the matchday jerseys on the eve of the final.

Le Roux duly went on to produce a memorable performance in the title decider, rewarding the Bok coaches for the faith placed in him, while vindicating a selection process that is based around objectivity rather than emotion.

“I know people have lots to say about Willie, but look at how many times he makes the last pass to allow us to score a try,” Nienaber explained during the Wales series.

“You must be able to see space and create to do that. What Willie does for our attack is outstanding. Sometimes he looks average in other areas and he always gets criticism, but the reality is he does so much work, and is crucial to our attacking game plan.”

Those points were brought into sharp focus when Le Roux came off the bench in the first Test against Wales and quickly took direction of the Boks’ play after fly-half Elton Jantjies had endured a torrid first-half performance that ultimately led to him being replaced at the break.

In the decisive third Test, Le Roux delivered another highly influential display when he came on around the half-an-hour mark after Cheslin Kolbe was forced to leave the field with an injury.

Le Roux produced some magical touches during his cameo off the bench, while an enduring passion and determination was tangible in everything he did. His off-the-ball communication and guidance also set him apart once again.

“I am part of the bomb squad and I do have a new role there,” Le Roux said. “I am excited to still be in the 23, but even if I am not there, just serving (the team) – holding bags, painting pictures for the side – whatever my role is, I am happy to do that.”

Praise for Willemse

And what has Le Roux made of Willemse’s progression?

“He is a great rugby player and he can play multiple positions. He slots into full-back very easily and he understands the role there. There were little things here and there where I helped him, like his positioning; when to send up your wings; and when to hold them back a bit.

“We are good mates, we come from the same school (both went to Paul Roos). He will do a good job and he is the right man.”

Such comments speak volumes about Le Roux.

Love him or hate him, he remains the ultimate team man, and his role within the Springboks team remains as important as ever, even if his jersey number has changed from number 15 to 23.

Jul 31, 2022, 19:04

Willemse is fucking shit. I dont get what the fuck you lot see in this bozo. As fucking useless as Allende. Gelant is the real in form 15 but Willie is different from any other yarpie. I don't think he fits the Blocks... surrounded by fucking morons. 

Jul 31, 2022, 19:06

Hopefully that helps the anti Willie brigade understand a few things. I made the same point about the way Willie lifted the team when he replaced Kolbe. You need one creative player out there to ignite a backline with little imagination, but decent finishing capability. Remove that lone spark and you are left with Zombieland. Comprende Peeper?

Jul 31, 2022, 19:10

You need a guy to see the field and link runners... who does he have??? Static phased shit. Not his fault. Not much talent in the backs but the on field general gets the shit... fucking hilarious. 

Jul 31, 2022, 22:21

Willie has been integral to the Boks but age is catching up with him so it makes sense to earmark a replacement

Willie has the ability to sum up situations and create opportunities like no other player.

The only player I have seen replicate this ability is Gelant for the Stormers this season. He operates in a very similar mode to Willie, he sums up, pauses and creates

While Willemse is a class act and it’s clear that once you know the system and have been earmarked for a role, the Bok coaches don’t deviate from their modus operandi.

This is unfortunate as investment in Willemse at 12 and Gelant at 15 would make far more sense

The same applies to dumb muscle Wiese at 8. He knows the system and has been earmarked as Vermeulen’s replacement, so regardless of how shit he was in the last test, he will once again start at 8 for the Boks against the AB’s when it’s so damn obvious that Roos is a far superior player on every level

The likes of Elrigh Louw, Dan du Preez, Marcel Coetzee and Jaco Coetzee are all better options at 8 than Wiese

Wiese is way down the merit pecking order

Jul 31, 2022, 23:27

During the Meyer era, when Willie Leroux was at his best- he was like having a backline coach on the field.  When he played blindside wing, he used to cut the backline at will. He is a playmaker with a fantastic pass and used to play 2nd receiver on phase play.

Then he moved to fullback where he gave lots of options on the attack, and was solid under the high ball. 

He has lost a bit of pace now and takes the outside break less often- but he still straightens the backline, and gets attacking play happening bringing in the outside backs. 

Starting him is still an option, but he has become a bit less reliable under the high ball. 
Willemse has eventually come of age, and he too has a fantastic pass. Having them both on the field at the same time would give lots of options on attack. 

Aug 01, 2022, 07:01

Willie is part of the outside units. Usually with Am and Kolisi. Back lines don't straighten that's old shit from before the ELVs. 

Aug 03, 2022, 14:54

Mozart ... Willie Le Roux is 103. 

Are you genuinely still in his corner or is this just a matter of cheering for the elderly?

Aug 03, 2022, 23:17

Willie is still a great innovative footballer, he is turning 33 this month, 6ft 1 inch and weighs just short of 200lbs. Nothing wrong with that. He is a seasoned experienced player and given the right opportunities can be a game changer.

Aug 03, 2022, 23:20

Willie is still a great innovative footballer, he is turning 33 this month, 6ft 1 inch and weighs just short of 200lbs. Nothing wrong with that. He is a seasoned experienced player and given the right opportunities can be a game changer.

Aug 04, 2022, 11:13

Well ... if he's the best you guys have then I feel sorry for you. 

He is well known for his brain farts and has cost his side a match win many a time.

No matter ... each to his own.

Aug 04, 2022, 11:19

Willy Plonka is the best they've got, but the other chumps are so stupid that they can't even get what Willy has left to give. Tragic and fucking funny as hell. 

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