Bees to return as a Lion
Johannesburg - Prop Bees Roux could make his return to South African rugby with the prop set to play for the Golden Lions during the Currie Cup season, coach Johan Ackermann confirmed on Monday.
Roux was given a five-year suspended jail sentence in 2011 over the beating to death of Tshwane metro police officer Johannes Mogale the year before.
Conditions reached in a plea bargain with the State included that he had to pay Mogale’s family R750 000 compensation.
Ackermann on Monday confirmed the union was looking at Roux to fill a void at prop ahead of the Currie Cup season.
“We are selecting him for rugby and no other reason. He is a prop that is available coming back from abroad,” Ackermann said.
“We are in a tight spot as there are no other players that are not under contract, so we’ll pull him into the group and see how he goes.”
The Lions coach said letters in which the Mogale family offered their forgiveness to Roux had made the decision easier to look at the player.
“We have two letters dating to 2011 and 2013 where the parents and the family personally give their blessing to him to play rugby and they even want him to play for South Africa,” Ackermann said.
“This gave us somewhat of a positive outlook because they (the family) are willing to forgive and forget and to give him a second chance in life.”
A month after he pleaded guilty the Blue Bulls Rugby Union sacked Roux for breach of contract and he later took up a contract with French club the Bordeaux Begles.
In 2012 he joined Italian team Treviso until the end of the European season this year, while he also featured in the South African Barbarians team in a match against Saracens in May.
Fresh off securing their place in the 2014 Super Rugby competition through a superior points difference to the Southern Kings in their two leg promotion-relegation matches, the Lions are facing a crisis at prop.
Captain JC Janse van Rensburg, who was the main anchor in the front row for the Lions has left the team for Bayonne in France, while Julian Redelinghuys suffered a long-term injury over the weekend.
“We are looking to borrow another prop from somewhere as we actually only have three fit props in Ruan Dreyer, Jacques van Rooyen and CJ van der Linde," Ackermann said.