Ollie wants ‘Test’ rugby sendoff

Veteran Springbok prop Ollie le Roux, looking for a victorious sendoff in what will be his final Super 14 match abroad, has called on his Cheetah teammates to play “Test” rugby when they meet the Western Force in Perth on Friday.

Le Roux, who will join up with Irish province Leinster after the completion in the Currie Cup in October this year, is confident the Cheetahs can end their four-match losing streak against the Force at the Subiaco Oval – but admitted it will require a huge step up from the quality of the rugby they produced in a sloppy 13-23 defeat against the Reds last week.

The 33-year-old utility forward – who can play at loosehead and tighthead prop, as well as hooker – have just two games remaining before he bids farewell to a Super Rugby career that started over a decade ago and saw him make more than 110 appearances on the field in this SANZAR showpiece.

The Cheetahs play the Force this week and the Lions in Round 14, before Le Roux will conclude his South African playing career in the Currie Cup – from June to October – and then take up an eight-month contract with Leinster.

However, that is a long way off and for now Le Roux is focused on helping the Cheetahs end their 2007 Super 14 campaign on a winning and maybe even secure their first ever Super 14 victory in Australasia.

That will also ensure his illustrious Super Rugby career will end on a winning note.

“We will have to get stuck in and grind out a win,” he said of his team’s efforts to turn around a horror run that has seen them lose to the Highlanders, Blues, Hurricanes and Reds.

“We need to relax more and take the opportunities we create. We need to be more aware tactically of what is happening,” he told this website, as he looked towards the showdown with the Force.

“When we make mistakes we have to ensure it is in their half. We need to be more conservative in our approach.

“We can’t try to run them off their feet from the outside and start running out of our own 22. Last week we simply showed the Reds too little respect and we paid the price.

“What is required is more ‘Test’ rugby and less Super 14 rugby if we are to turn it around,” Le Roux added.

Le Roux said he was looking forward to ending his playing career with Leinster in European competitions.

“I have a really good contract with them [Leinster] and I have an eight-month contract, after which I will probably hang up my boots. I may consider another year if things go well in Ireland, but that decision is a long way off.

“Right now I’m looking at the last two Super 14 matches and then the Currie Cup season with the Cheetahs.”

Le Roux said he hasn’t given it much thought what he would do once he finally hangs up his boots, but he also didn’t rule out the possibility of being involved in coaching in some way or another.

“I have so much intellectual value I gained from the game of rugby and I would love help guide younger players and teach them the things I’ve learned over the years.

“However, that decision is also a long way off, so for now I will enjoy my last year or so of playing,” he added.

Le Roux, who has well over 300 first class games to his credit since he made his provincial debut in 1993, also played in 54 Test matches. At the start of the Super 14 season his South African record for First Class games stood at 319.

He has been a stalwart in the Cheetahs team the last few years – which won the Currie Cup competition in 2005 and shared it with the Blue Bulls last year.

By Jan de Koning 365 Digital 

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