Bulls

Roets retires from rugby

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The Vodacom Blue Bulls’ fullback Johan Roets has announced his retirement from rugby.


Roets still has a year to go on his contract but he decided it is in the best interest of his career to start working for a leading property company.


The Blue Bulls Company understands Roets’ situation and they agreed that the ace fullback can be released from his contract.


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A suitable player to replace Roets has been identified and an announcement will be made shortly.


The CEO of the Blue Bulls Company Barend van Graan said Roets was one of the most loyal and professional players at Loftus and he wished him all the best for his new career.


The Blue Bulls’ last game in this year’s Currie Cup will also be Roets’ last for a team he joined in 1998 and for which he recently played his 100th game.


“It wasn’t an easy decision, but Atterbury Property has provided an opportunity I couldn’t refuse,” said Roets.


The 29-year old fullback won this year’s Vodacom Super 14 final with the Bulls and has played in two Super Rugby semi-finals.


Roets is also one of only three players (Gary Botha and JP Nel the others) to appear in five successive Currie Cup finals, winning three and drawing one.


He represented South Africa at various levels, including SA u21 (two years), SA u23 and SA A.


Roets, who obtained a B Com degree at the University of Pretoria, was instrumental in winning the 1999 under 21 World Cup for South Africa when, while playing under current Springbok coach Jake White, he converted the winning kick to beat the All Blacks in the final.


“Even though this new venture is something I’m really looking forward to, it’s going to be very difficult to leave the Bulls family.


“It has been part of my life for almost ten years. I thoroughly enjoyed every minute of it and I will still enjoy watching the guys play. But now it is time to move on to a new family with the same values.


“Rugby was a short term career, while in the long term this is something I just couldn’t say no to. I’m very interested in the property market and I’m sure I’m going to enjoy it as well.”


Heyneke Meyer said Roets was not only a world class rugby player but also a world class person.


“What impressed me most was the fact that he was always humble and he always placed the team ahead of himself.


“He was a great team player and one of the unluckiest players not to be selected for the Springboks. But even under those circumstances he was always a quality human being, he continued to behave like a champion and he never became embittered. It is sad that he had to play in the era of Percy Montgomery, who is that most capped Springbok of all time.


“Johan was an integral part of our game plan and played a major role in our Currie Cup and Super Rugby success. The forwards always enjoyed it when he was wearing the number 15-jersey because he was so save and utterly fearless under the high ball.


“You can measure the quality of a player by his weaknesses and I don’t think Johan had any. He is an all round player who always took the right option.


“His defence as well as his kicking and chasing of the high ball was superb and I wish him and his family all the best for the future.


“I am definitely going to miss him but I know he will make a success of his career.”

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