Blue Bull becomes a Waratah

2009-12-02 22:22
Hendrik Roodt (Gallo Images)
Jóhann Thormählen

Bloemfontein – Just a year ago Hendrik Roodt was considered as back-up for Bakkies Botha at the Blue Bulls, but now he is looking forward to becoming a role model in a Waratahs jersey.

On top of this, he wouldn’t mind representing Australia in their national rugby team.

Roodt, who has played for the Emerging Springboks, was relieved of his duties at the Bulls earlier this year and signed a two year contract with the Waratahs in August.

According to the Sydney Morning Herald's website, Roodt believes that it will feel odd playing for the Waratahs against the Springbok lock pairing of Bakkies Botha and Victor Matfield in the Super 14, although he cannot wait for the opportunity.

"It will feel funny, because they are my role models.

"I look up to them, but they are also only human made of flesh and blood.

"They have much more experience, but you have to start somewhere.

"It will be a privilege to be able to play against them."

When it comes to size, one must certainly not underestimate Roodt; he is 2m tall and weighs 126kg. He used to weigh 146kg.

"I got down to 130kg and am now at 126kg, so I still have a few kilograms to lose. My ideal weight is 121kg."

According to his coach at the Waratahs, Chris Hickey, Roodt's reaction to a possible match up against Botha and company was quite simple.

"He just said, I am also big," said Hickey.

Roodt played for the Leopards' Craven Week team in 2004 and 2005 and also made the SA Schools team in 2005 after which he went to the Bulls where he played for the U21, Vodacom Cup and Currie Cup teams.

The 22-year-old giant stopped playing last year to qualify as an architect, but he got his hunger back this year when he attended the match between the Emerging Boks and the British and Irish Lions.

Roodt said, "I knew that I could have been playing there."

Like many South Africans, Roodt may be lost to South Africa in a few years. In three years he will qualify to play for the Wallabies, this because the Emerging Boks team does not enjoy A-team status according to the International Rugby Board's regulations.

"If I get the chance, then I would be rather eager to do it," said Roodt.


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