It took Evan Roos all of three minutes to remind the South African rugby coaches that he can indeed play rugby, when he ran 50 meters and rolled Connacht’s left winger to open up the scoring for the Stormers, writes Mark Keohane.
Rassie Erasmus applauded Roos’ response to being omitted from the initial Springbok alignment squads this year, saying “Well done Evan Roos, that’s how you react to dissapoinment [sic] and make sure you cant be ignored !” I’m sure there was much more than just disappointment following a Test series and Rugby Championship where Roos saw no reward for his superb form for the Stormers. Equally, I’m sure Erasmus is thinking the same thing that he was in April when it comes to Roos’ attitude and hunger.
Well done Evan Roos, that’s how you react to dissapoinment and make sure you cant be ignored !
— Rassie Erasmus (@RassieRugby) April 22, 2022
Despite being named the URC Player of the Tournament (among four other URC awards) , Evan Roos was allowed all of 46 minutes against Wales as part of an experimental, losing Springbok side in the second Test. He was in the squad but not picked when South Africa hosted New Zealand for two Tests, released from the squad for the Australian Test and allegedly promised time against Argentina. Time which he was never given.
Also Read: Roos the best in the URC
After essentially two months of no rugby, Roos was emphatic in reaffirming the hype of his last season in a Stormer side that put Connacht away 38-15.
In their winning URC campaign, the Stormers faced Ulster twice. Two battles between Roos and veteran Springbok Duane Vermeulen. Twice it was Roos who shone and twice it was the Stormers who won.
Evan Roos vs Duane Vermeulen
Dreams do come true…pic.twitter.com/pgzBzUIe9m
— Saffas Abroad Rugby (@SaffasRugby) March 26, 2022
The Springbok coaches have made it evident that Vermeulen remains part of their 2023 World Cup plans, but their persistence with him in the Rugby Championship at the expense of giving Roos game time remains baffling. One has to wonder how the Springboks, Vermeulen or Roos benefitted more from a 36 year old Vermeulen making a cameo appearance in the last Test against Argentina than they would from Roos being allowed to close out the second half. The same goes for the Australian Tests and for the decision to play Vermeulen agains the All Blacks in the second Test when he had not played rugby for months.
I am by no means saying Vermeulen must be forgotten, but simply wondering where the common sense was when it came to selection over the eight weeks of the Rugby Championship, when there was enough time and opportunity for Jasper Wiese, Vermeulen, Elrigh Louw and Roos to all get game time.
Ultimately all that Evan Roos can control is his output, and it has been consistently strong since the start of the 2021/22 URC. As the Stormers gained momentum in a campaign-winning season, so to did Roos grow in confidence and stature, and his opening performance against Connacht suggests much of the same for the remainder of the year.
Watch: Roos’ try vs Connacht