Le Roux’s versatility excites Loubscher

Willie le Roux of the Springboks during The Castle Rugby Championship match between South Africa and Argentina. Picture: Steve Haag/Gallo Images

Willie le Roux’s transformation into a more complete fullback has no-one more excited than Springbok backline coach Ricardo Loubscher.

The dynamic 25-year-old Cheetahs stalwart was one of the few standout performers for the Boks during their lacklustre 13-6 win over Argentina in their Rugby Championship opener last weekend.

“I was really happy with Willie’s performance,” said Loubscher on Tuesday.

“I thought his aerial skills were brilliant, especially if you took conditions into account. His positional play was also really sound. Versatility in a fullback is very attractive, it’s not only great to see what the player can do with ball in hand but also how he shapes up on defence.”

The Loftus quagmire naturally inhibited any running rugby but while Loubscher is keen to see what a talented backline can conjure up – especially with Le Roux as the attacking axis – it won’t translate into a concerted need to deliver a four-try, bonus-point haul against the Pumas in Salta on Saturday.

“The focus is only to deliver a win. To score four tries would be a bonus,” he said.

“It’s far more important to focus on good preparation and due process. We want to bring the right attitude to our product this week.”

Meanwhile, team doctor Craig Roberts confirmed that veteran second rower Victor Matfield has stayed behind in South Africa to continue his rehabilitation from a knee cartilage problem.

Notably, team management are earmarking a return for him on the Australasian leg of the Boks’ tour.

“Our plan is to have him available for the Perth Test against Australia on September 6,” said Roberts.

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