OPINION: Evan Roos has been the only shining light in a disappointing season for Western Province
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Loose forward Evan Roos has been the best feature in Western Province’s Currie Cup campaign so far.
As far as performances go, Province have been satisfactory at times, but there have also been disappointing displays from John Dobson’s charges.
They have won just three of their six games, a stat that can never be considered good enough for a union with a talent pool and rich Currie Cup history Province has. And while there have been some issues, one thing that has been impossible to miss is Roos.
The big No 8 has wreaked havoc since touching down in Cape Town from Durban. The 21-year-old made his Currie Cup debut for the Sharks back in 2019, and while he was a standout in the Sharks’ SuperHero Sunday fixture last year and a key figure for their Under-21 side, it’s down in Cape Town where he’s really been impossible to miss.
One visual that has shown his insane capabilities is the one that emerged following WP’s game against the Sharks earlier this month, which showed Roos storming over the try line with Jaden Hendrikse on his back after an unsuccessful tackle attempt. That may have been seriously, and savagely impressive, but the best part is that it doesn’t even top the list of his finest moments.
Roos, a former schoolboy star for Paarl Boys High, represented SA Schools in 2018 and returned to WP on loan late last year.
While he’s a physical player who is equally comfortable at flank and lock, the way he’s gone at No 8 has been enough to convince us that his best position is at the back of the scrum, where he also played for SA Schools.
With Juarno Augustus having left the Cape to join English Premiership side Northampton Saints, Roos’ form has been especially encouraging. But it’s not just about knowing that Province and the Stormers now have such an asset at No 8 (Roos signed a three-year contract after impressing in the recent preparation matches for the Stormers) in the injury-cursed Augustus’ absence. Roos is way more than a replacement for Augustus. He’s the kind of player on whose rise you can feel confident betting big money on.
It’s not too unusual for a player to sometimes be prematurely touted as a future Springbok, but if Roos in Bok colours hasn’t popped into your head at least a couple of times, then you simply haven’t seen enough of him…not that he needs a string of appearances to show what he can do.
Province haven’t been on the greatest run, and there have surely been some negatives in their play.
But Roos hasn’t just been a positive, he’s been a revelation. And if you can feel confident about backing one player to go the distance and get involved in the Bok camp in the not-too-distant future, it’s him.