Sport Rugby

Saturday 22 October 2016

Connacht will have to stop Willie le Roux this year after the South African signs for Wasps

Published 04/08/2016 | 11:33

Springbok full-back Willie Le Roux
Springbok full-back Willie Le Roux

Wasps continue to assemble a squad equipped to challenge for the Aviva Premiership title after announcing South Africa full-back Willie le Roux as their latest signing.

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Le Roux, who has won 37 caps for the Springboks, will arrive at the Ricoh Arena upon conclusion of the Japanese domestic season in December after agreeing a short-term contract at Top League club Canon Eagles.

The 26-year-old has been signed as a replacement for departed New Zealand full-back Charles Piutau and joins Danny Cipriani, Kurtley Beale and Kyle Eastmond among the high-profile signings made for the 2016-17 season.

"When we were looking to replace Piutau, who is up there in the world's top two or three full-backs, Willie was certainly in that level of international company," Wasps director of rugby Dai Young said.

"His attacking ability will fit perfectly into the way we want to play. He's really safe under the high ball and also has a good kicking game, so he is a really exciting player to have in anyone's team.

"We now have fantastic facilities and the best way to fill those facilities is to play entertaining rugby and to have some of the best players in the world in your team. Willie falls into that category."

Le Roux, known for his counter-attacking and game management, was a world player of the year nominee in 2014 and has been an ever-present for South Africa since making his debut three years ago.

He joins Beale, Eastmond, Cipriani, Guy Armitage, Tom Cruse, Nick De Luca, Marcus Garratt, Craig Hampson, Marty Moore, Matt Symons, Tommy Taylor and Tom Woolstencroft in joining Wasps for next season.

"The Super Rugby competition is a great one to play in but I've reached a point in my career where I want to experience new environments and I can't wait for the new challenge," Le Roux said.

"The recent World Cup in England really hit home just how passionate the fans there are about rugby and in weighing up the move, the recent successes Wasps have experienced, the way they play the game and the facilities they have at the Ricoh Arena were big factors in my decision."

Wasps are in the same Champions Cup pool as Guinness Pro12 champions Connacht, Toulouse and Italian minnows Zebre

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