The Waratahs have completed their search for a second row forward with the signing of 21-year-old Blue Bulls lock Hendrik Roodt on a two-year deal.
Rugby 365 reports that the 198cm and 121kg Roodt, who also played for the Emerging South African team at the International Rugby Board Nations Cup tournament in Romania in 2008, has been earmarked to be an ‘enforcer’ in the Waratahs pack when he joins the squad to commence pre-season training in November.
The former SA Schools star, who played both Vodacom Cup and Currie Cup rugby for the Bulls last year, did not play this year.
Australian Super 14 teams are able to contract a developing foreign player, who has yet to represent his native country at Test, Sevens or A-team level and could qualify for the Wallabies after three years of consecutive residency, as per IRB regulations.
“We’ve looked long and hard for another lock to strengthen our second row stocks and we believe we’ve found that with Hendrik Roodt,” said head coach Chris Hickey.
“Will Caldwell, Dean Mumm and Chris Thomson have performed well for us, and Kane Douglas continues to develop. Adding Hendrik into the mix will only serve to strengthen the tight five, particularly at the scrum and line-out.
“As a developing player who has come through the traditional pathways of South African rugby, we’ve got high hopes that Hendrik may be able to follow in the footsteps of Dan Vickerman and Clyde Rathbone and put himself in contention for national selection once he’s qualified.”
Under the new policy introduced in September 2008, Australian Super 14 teams are also permitted to sign one ‘marquee’ foreigner – an international who can never qualify for Australian selection because of an IRB regulation that limits players to one country representation throughout their careers.
Last week the Waratahs enacted this clause by securing Chiefs flyer and former All Black Sosene Anesi.
Hailing from Lichtenburg in the North West province, Roodt represented Leopards at the Craven Week tournament in 2004 and 2005. In 2005 he went on to be selected for South African Schools in a side which also included Bulls flank Dewald Potgieter.
Following his Schools career, Roodt has gone on to represent the Blue Bulls in the Vodacom Cup (2006-2008) and Under-21 competition (2006-2008). In 2007 Roodt was selected as a member of the Blue Bulls Currie Cup squad at just 19 years of age, going on to form part of the Bulls Super 14 pre-season training squad later that year.
In 2008 Roodt was selected for the victorious Emerging SA side at the IRB Nations Cup in Bucharest, with the side going through the tournament undefeated with victories over Georgia, Italy A and Romania.
Having played fulltime from such a young age, Roodt took time away from the game in 2009 to work as a junior draughtsman in Johannesburg, but is now keen to resume a career which was on the rise before taking a break from the sport.
“He’s got the size, he’s got the talent, and being six-foot-six from the high veldt of South Africa he’s definitely got the pedigree to play the role we want him to play for us,” said Hickey.
“He’s getting his visa sorted out now, and our physical performance team already has him on a training program in Pretoria so he’ll be able to hit the ground running when the squad assembles in November.”
Full name: Hendrik Lambertus
Birth date: 6 November 1987
Birth city: Lichtenburg
Favourite film: Happy Gilmore
Favourite music: Rave
Favourite food: Chicken
Primary school: Lichtenburg Primary
Secondary School: Lichtenburg