‘To all the critics, I ask that you lay it off because he is probably one of the best’

Jake White has asked critics of Springbok fullback Willie Le Roux to ‘lay off” as he makes his debut for the Bulls as the Pretorians welcome Connacht to Loftus Versfield this Saturday in the URC.

Although Le Roux is an almost constant in South Africa’s back line when healthy, he has faced criticism in recent years. Le Roux joined with the Bulls in the off-season.

When questioned about the chance to watch Le Roux play for the Bulls, White was giddy with enthusiasm and urged the Loftus supporters to support him and the amazing expertise he provides.

“Although I have never coached him, I saw him play as an under-19 in Boland back in the day and never imagined he would become what he is today.” I find it hard to believe what I see when I read what others are saying about him on social media.

“He has only been here for a week but it feels like he has been here for six months, he is unbelievable. He is like having a coach there. He is very clever and extremely skilful, I cannot wait for tomorrow to see how he goes because I am sure people will see just the value that he has.

“To all the critics, I beg you to stop because he is most likely among the best players to have played for the Boks, if not the best, and if he isn’t the best, then he is unquestionably the smartest.”

“The guy is unbelievable, and I can’t believe it’s only been a week,” White continued. He was inquiring about our attacking and defensive strategies even during the World Cup, and now that he is here, it seems as though he has been here for the entire season. I now see why he is chosen every single week.

“I’m amazed at what he’s accomplished in just one week. It’s like to having an experienced coach by your side. Before coming here, the other players told me that Canan (Moodie), Kurt-Lee (Arendse), and Marco (van Staden) were amazing to play with, and now I can see it for myself.

“I hope that everyone else notices it as well.”

“It’s a wonderful thing for us, they returned and were asking to play,” White said in response to a question on the Vodacom Bulls Boks playing again. Marco expressed his excitement in playing, which is fantastic for us.

“It’s nice that they bring energy and excitement.”

White makes eight changes to his squad. Le Roux starts at fullback, supported in the centers by David Kriel and Stedman Gans.

“Speed Kings”Flyhalf Jacob van der Walt and scrumhalf Zach Burger lead at halfback, while Sergeal Petersen and Sebastian de Klerk start on the wings.

Wilco Louw, Akker van der Merwe, and Gerhard Steenekamp are shown on the front row.Reinhardt Ludwig and skipper Ruan Nortje lock, flanked by Nizam Carr at eight and Marco van Staden and Elrigh Louw. Simphiwe Matanzima, Jan-Hendrik Wessels, Morning Smith, Janko Swanepoel, and Cycle make up the impact squad.

Brink, Chris Smith, Embrose Papier, and Canan Moodie, the young World Champion. Loftus gates open at 14h00, offering fun for the whole family. White ducks questions about the Sharks game and concentrates on the Connacht challenge.

Fourth position After defeating the Sharks in South Africa, Connacht is on a high, and White doesn’t downplay the difficulty the Irish province presents.

I am familiar with Andy Friend, and I believe they have made some changes. They are a formidable opponent, and when we faced them away from home, they defeated us by playing straight rugby. When they play, as we saw last week, they go for it as soon as they get near the try line.

Their performance against the Sharks will boost their confidence significantly as they approach Loftus. But instead of getting dragged into it, we must concentrate and take care of business on our end.

BULLS: 1. Steenekamp, Gerhard 2. The Merwe Ackerman, 3. Wilco Louw Reinhardt Ludwig, fourth 5. Nortje Ruan (c), 6. Van Staden, Marco 7. Elrigh Louw 8. Nizam Carr 9. The Zak Burger 10. Van der Walt Jacob, Sergeal Petersen, 11. 12. David Kriel 13. Tedman Gans 14. Klerk, Sebastian 15. The late Willie le Roux

REPLACEMENTS: 16. Jan-Hendrik Wessels, 17. Simphiwe Matanzima 18. Smith Mornay, 19. Swanepoel Janko, 20. Chris Smith, 21. Canan Moodie, 22. Embrose Papier, and 23. Cyle Brink


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