I walked past the field one day where the first year students were having their trials and I saw a youngster running through the opposing team every time he got the ball.
Later I told Jannie Krige, the coach, that I had seen a centre who was outstanding. I advised him that he had a genius under his wing and that no-one should prescribe to a genius. "Leave him alone" I warned "he'll make many mistakes; he'll give away tries, but let me assure you, he'll make or score more tries than he gives away. Leave him alone - don't interfere with his style until he gets to me and then we'll see what we can do."
Jannie did that and later, when he went on leave, asked me to look after the under-19's as well. I said: "Okay, Jannie, on condition that I select the under-19 teams and put the players in the positions that I want them to play in."
In the first match against Van der Stel they had really battled. I think the score was 6-0 or 6-6 and I made nine or eleven changes to the team for the return match, including positional changes, and I put Mannetjies where I wanted him - at centre.
I was on my way to my mother's funeral when I stopped for a while to watch the game. My, how they clicked and Mannetjies spearheaded most of those movements. The Maties walloped their opponents that day. With Mannetjies Roux on your side you could take on the world.