Springbok No 8 Evan Roos has his fingers crossed that he gets a shot with the world champions when they defend their Rugby World Cup title this year.
Roos made his Bok debut in 2022 during the July series against Wales in the Republic, before featuring again on the end-of-year tour in clashes with Italy and England.
The 23-year-old was part of the DHL Stormers team that won the inaugural Vodacom United Rugby Championship, yet injuries limited his involvement in all competitions for the former champions in 2022-23.
Roos has been training with the Bok squad in Pretoria, where they are preparing for the Rugby Championship opener against Australia at Loftus Versfeld on Saturday.
Speaking in a wide-ranging interview with BallCarrier Rugby, the three-Test loose forward shared his hopes of pulling on the green and gold jersey at France 2023, while unpacking his experiences of playing with his hero, Duane Vermeulen.
“Nothing is set in stone and everyone is fighting to make the squad of 33,” said Roos, who faces stiff opposition from Vermeulen, Jasper Wiese and Kwagga Smith for the No 8 jumper.
“But it’s so cool to be in the mix in a World Cup year. There are opportunities and I’m going to do my best to grab it with both hands.
“I know there’s a plan for everyone, so if it’s not part of my plan for now I know it’s for a reason. But I’m definitely going to give it my all and try everything I can to make it [to the World Cup].
“And if I do go it would be one of the coolest things that will happen in my career. I’m really just training hard and trying to learn a lot, to give myself a bigger chance of going.
“It would be such an honour to be able to defend [the Webb Ellis Cup] if I do go, but first we have to try and win this Rugby Championship and the warm-up matches before the World Cup starts.”
Photo: EPA/Kim Ludbrook/BackpagePix