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Willie le Roux posts 'epic' farewell message to Toyota Verblitz

By Liam Heagney
(Photo by Steven Markham/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Veteran Springboks full-back Willie le Roux has brought the curtain down on his four-year stay in Japan, posting his Toyota Verblitz farewell message on social media. Having spent two seasons at Wasps in England in the run-up to the 2019 Rugby World Cup, the South African decided to stay on in Japan after the Springboks lifted the title.

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The 33-year-old made his 50th appearance earlier this month for Verblitz and the seventh-place club ended their Japanese regular season last weekend with a 37-27 win over Shizuoka Blue Revs, a game that was also the last at the club for Joe Launchbury.

The England lock is set for a return to the Gallagher Premiership, with the ex-Wasps talisman having a deal already signed with Harlequins.

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There was no indication as to what the club future holds for le Roux, Launchbury’s old Wasps colleague, whether it might be back in South Africa with one of the URC teams or even with another club in Japan.

Le Roux wrote: “I’d like to thank the staff and my teammates for an epic four years and to our wonderful fans for always being so supportive. I appreciate the opportunity to have represented such a great team. Arigato, Toyota Verblitz.”

It was last November in London when le Roux won his 83rd cap for the Springboks in their Autumn Nations Series win over England. He will now return to South Africa to prepare for his country’s World Cup title retention bid, a project that kicks off with their Rugby Championship campaign versus Australia on July 9 in Pretoria.

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