Evan Roos says his time in the Springbok alignment camp has helped him identify a few key areas to improve on, but he is fully focused on helping the Stormers progress through the Vodacom United Rugby Championship playoffs. DYLAN JACK reports.
Despite his rampaging performances for the Stormers this season, Roos initially appeared to have been left out of the Springbok plans as he was not invited to the first of the three alignment camps, during which the coaches laid out the plans for the upcoming Test campaign.
However, an eye-catching performance against the Glasgow Warriors in April, when he scored a try in the final minute of play to secure the Stormers a bonus-point, saw Roos win his place in the second of the camps. Rassie Erasmus even showered the talented loose forward with praise for his efforts against Glasgow.
During an online media session on Thursday, Roos was asked about how he experienced the moment Erasmus took to social media to post about the 22-year-old.
“Usually after a game, when I’m on my phone, I usually message my dad or my mom or some family member. My phone froze, with all the mentions, Tweets and Instagram tags,” Roos explained. “It was quite a cool thing to see. I didn’t expect it at all. But I try not to hold onto that stuff, even though it is an honour to get mentioned by the director of rugby. I didn’t forget about it, but my focus is on the next job.”
Roos said that during the time in the alignment camp, he realised he needed to improve his work at the lineout and maul.
“I would really like to improve on the set-piece. In general, jumping and lifting at the lineouts and mauls. But all other things as well. I don’t think you can ever be the best, you can always get better. There are always extras I work on after each session every day. I am always trying to improve all aspects of my game.
“The coaching staff is very helpful and they were very keen to help. There are quite a few things I need to work on. I am very grateful to them for sharing those insights.”
With the alignment camp now behind him, Roos has his eyes firmly set on the upcoming URC quarter-final against Edinburgh in Cape Town next Saturday.
“If someone has the mindset of winning a quarter-final for personal reasons, such as getting picked for the Boks, then he is there for the wrong reasons. If you want to win a quarter-final, it must be for the team. Those personal and individual things, I tend not to focus on them. The job we need to do is win the quarter-final and that’s for the Stormers. Those things will take care of themselves after the season. I am not very worried about it.
“I am really thankful and blessed to be a part of this season. I am excited about coming to work every day. If that’s the case then you are in the right place. I am just trying to do the basics right every week. I have got such a great team with me, that helps me and makes those types of things easy.
“My focus now is on the Stormers. We have a quarter-final to win. I am very excited for that, especially since we are playing at home. It’s going to be awesome.”
Photo: Ashley Vlotman/Gallo Images