Springbok fullback Willie le Roux, will be playing for the Sharks in next year’s Super Rugby competition.
He leaves the Cheetahs with no regrets, only thanks for providing the platform for him to develop and grow into the player he is, one who became a Springbok while playing out of Bloemfontein.
“The past four seasons with the Cheetahs have been one amazing ride and I will forever be grateful to them for the opportunities that they afforded me,” he admits.
“Bloemfontein will always be a special place to me and I hope that I was able to at least partially repay the city with the efforts we as a team put in every time we took the field.”
The 25-capped Springbok admits that life sometimes throws challenges your way and if you don’t accept them, you never know where you might find yourself going, or what accomplishments you might achieve.
For someone with humble rugby beginnings at a small union like Boland, moving to Griquas (where he was playing when the Cheetahs drafted him into their squad in 2012) was a path that would take him to Super Rugby and ultimately to represent the Springboks at Test level – the highest honour a rugby player can achieve. And he is now on the cusp of playing at a Rugby World Cup.
It’s also the opportunity to experience rugby in a new city with new players and a new style.
“Every part of one’s life has a beginning and an end and ultimately I feel that at the conclusion of this season the time will be right for me to challenge myself,” he explains. “This is a great opportunity to contribute to and experience something new and exciting.
“The Sharks are a proud and strong team filled with quality players and loyal supporters. Their interest in me was humbling and I am looking forward to, when the time comes, giving my all and contributing to what The Sharks as a franchise are wanting to achieve.”