CJ Stander has backed Evan Roos “without hesitation” to be the first pick at No 8 for the Springboks at the upcoming World Cup in France.
During a Vodacom United Rugby Championship media round table discussion, Stander was asked to choose a Springbok back row in a hypothetical final against Ireland.
“If everyone is fit, I will go for Siya Kolisi, Pieter-Steph du Toit for a lineout option and Evan Roos at No 8,” said Stander, who played 51 Tests for Ireland.
Roos made two starts for the Springboks last year after enjoying a breakthrough 2021-22 campaign for the DHL Stormers.
The 23-year-old has endured a difficult time with injuries after breaking his rib in his second Test start against England, but has fought his way back into form towards the end of this season.
“I saw him play as a schoolboy and already thought that he had incredible athletic abilities. Since then I have observed that he has improved in his performance, defence and style of play,” said Stander.
“Evan has incredible explosiveness. He scored a try for the Stormers against Connacht at the Danie Craven Stadium earlier in the season where I thought ‘Wow, you don’t see this kind of thing anymore’.
“I would without hesitation put him in the No 8 jersey, because he plays with passion every week. He is just an exceptionally well-rounded player and someone who I think will be the Boks’ No 8.”
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