There will always be that ambition of playing for South Africa, but after his World Cup disappointment, Evan Roos has his eyes and mind focused on playing the kind of rugby for the Stormers that made him a Springbok.
Roos (23) has put the disappointment to bed, and already made a telling impact for the Cape side as he contributed with a good performance to their first United Rugby Championship win.
He was solid with his demolishing runs, but also put in a big defensive performance, helping the Stormers beat the Lions 35-33 at Ellis Park at the weekend.
Now the versatile loose forward has his sights set on the visiting Scarlets from Wales at the Danie Craven Stadium in Stellenbosch on Saturday (4pm kickoff).
“My first priority is my club and my union. They gave me a chance when no one else did. I am training to get better at things for them, but every South African player wants to play for the Boks,” Roos said.
“There will be a new cycle after the World Cup. The first priority, though, is for this weekend in Stellenbosch and the four-week tour, where we want to get some good points. I will worry about the other things when the time comes.
“Every new season brings that opportunity to get better and build on that which you’ve done in the previous one. I am looking forward to what is lying ahead.”
Roos made some telling tackles against the Lions right until the end, when his team was under immense pressure, and his powerful runs contributed to the Stormers getting some precious attacking ball. It allowed the Cape side to dominate the game as they scored four unanswered tries to secure a bonus-point win in the first game of the new URC season.
But after scoring those touchdowns, the Stormers allowed the Lions to fight back and almost claim victory.
According to Roos, it was always going to be a difficult first game on the Highveld.
“We are happy with our performance, and we knew it was going to be tough – playing a first game at altitude ... it’s like that for a lot of different teams. We are happy about the fight until the end,” he said.