South Africa’s top rugby players will be foolish if they do not accept lucrative offers to play in the northern hemisphere, says Ollie le Roux.
“You’d be dumb to stay in South Africa once you have made a name for yourself,” the former Springbok prop forward said after training with the Stormers in Durbanville.
“The people over there (in the northern hemisphere) regard you as a hero, there is not so much pressure and the money is unbelievable.
“We have so many good players in South Africa. I foresee that many of them will go abroad. That’s certainly the road to take,” Le Roux said.
Stephen Nell writes in Die Burger that Ollie revealed that Leinster had been interested in retaining his services to assist the Irish regional team with coaching.
“I’ll remain registered (as player) over there and if they need me they only have to call,” he said.
“The money I was paid was more than any Springbok contract I ever had. The people over there also appreciate experience. The news media look up to you and don’t try to see when they can retire you.”
Asked what could be done to keep players in South Africa, Le Roux said, “Clermont (a French club) have a budget of 22 million euro (about R260m). You can’t compete with that.
“The big thing is to try to retain what we have and to provide the players with a future.”
Stormers coach Rassie Erasmus said on Tuesday Le Roux was not part of his planning for the Super 14 match against the Lions in Johannesburg on Saturday.
However, in addition to the expected changes in the front row, Erasmus may also move Luke Watson back to No 8 and start the match with Pieter Myburgh on the flank.
This means Robbie Diack could be among the substitutes.
“Pieter may be on the flank, It’s between him and Robbie,” Erasmus said. “We have not decided”.
Could Ollie be Rassie’s trump card?
Meanwhile Stephen Nell also reports that Ollie le Roux won’t play against the Lions on Saturday but the Stormers have been granted permission to select him for Super 14 rugby if the need arises.
Stormers coach Rassie Erasmus said on Tuesday the former Springbok prop forward was not part of his planning for the important match in Johannesburg this week.
However, the SA Rugby Union’s manager of legal affairs, Christo Ferreira, confirmed that the Stormers had been given permission to play Le Roux.
The veteran prop, who played for Leinster until recently, has been released by Irish administrators and has been registered with the Durbanville club.
This means he meets all the requirements should the Stormers need his services this week.
It is also possible that he may be granted permission to play in a Super 14 semi-final if the Stormers qualify for the playoffs.
Erasmus pointed out that he had been saying all along that Le Roux was only helping out. “He is a friend of mine and helped a little with the scrumming today,” the coach said.
“I think we’ll start with Brian Mujati at tighthead prop against the Lions, with Schalk Ferreira at loosehead and Brock Harris on the bench,” he added.
‘Sun would rise for the Stormers again’
Le Roux said on Tuesday Erasmus had asked him to assist the younger players, but he added, “Of course, I’d like to make my debut for the Stormers.”
Le Roux is not surprised by the success the Stormers have enjoyed this year. “I can see that what Rassie has created here is similar to what he did when he was with the Cheetahs.
“When I heard he was coming to Cape Town, I knew the sun would rise for the Stormers again.
“When 45 000 spectators attend a match in wet weather, you are doing something right.”
When he was asked whether the next few weeks would be a pleasant way to end his rugby career, Le Roux responded by saying, “You guys have been asking me about my farewell for years. I have had a few.”
He is certainly enjoying his time in Cape Town, where his father used to play for False Bay.Tweet