Hendrik Roodt says a fallout with the Waratahs’ management was the reason for his return to South Africa.
When the former Emerging Springbok lock left the Bulls at the end of 2009 to sign for the Tahs as a replacement for Alex Kanaar (injured) and Dan Vickerman (Cambridge), he was already earmarked to be a future Wallaby. In an interview with SA Rugby magazine earlier this year, Roodt said he was aiming to be a permanent member of the Tahs’ squad and he would play for the Wallabies if the opportunity arose.
However, these ambitions were dashed after he fell out of favour at the Tahs and was limited to one appearance off the bench in the Super 14 against the Stormers in round two. The 22-year old has now left Sydney and signed a six-month deal with Griquas and will feature for them in the Currie Cup this season.
‘I want to start my career from scratch,’ Roodt told keo.co.za. ‘The Waratahs’ management and I didn’t get along because of personality clashes. It was my time to move on and start over.
‘My manager met up with [Griquas head coach] Dawie Theron and the move was sealed as Griquas needed locks for the Currie Cup. I’m not sure where I will stand in the pecking order but I want to play more footy again and I will work my arse off. They have been competing well in the last five Currie Cup seasons, so it’s a good team to join.’
During his time at the Bulls, Roodt was in the Super 14 champions’ future plans as he was seen in the ‘Bakkies Botha’ mould. However, with the Bulls’ second row ranks filled by Boks Victor Matfield, Botha, Danie Rossouw, Flip van der Merwe and the returning Juandre Kruger, who signed a three-year deal, there was no place for Roodt.
‘The Bulls have too many locks at the moment, especially with Juandre back from Northampton. Griquas are the ideal team for me to start my career from over,’ said Roodt.
‘I’m not sure what I’m going to do after the six-month deal, but if any good opportunities come up I will take them. I will consider staying with the Griquas and playing for the Cheetahs in the Super 15 next year if that’s a possibility. But right now, I’m focused on this season.’
By Gareth Duncan