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Roos Gear Up For Physical Battle Against Wales

  • June 19, 2024
  • 3 min read
Roos Gear Up For Physical Battle Against Wales

Springbok No 8 Evan Roos anticipates a brutal encounter against Wales on Saturday as they kick off their 2024 international season at Twickenham.

Roos compares the Welsh approach to that of South Africans, known for their hard work and dedication.

The Boks wrapped up their home preparations on Tuesday with their final training session in Pretoria. The touring squad of 30 players selected by coach Rassie Erasmus will depart for London on Wednesday night. Discarded players will return home.

Roos, who last played for the Springboks in the Rugby World Cup warm-up match against Argentina last year, is excited to be back in the national team fold. “It’s fantastic to be back,” he said. “Everyone’s eager for the match. We want to build on the team’s success of the past six years. There’s immense pressure to deliver a strong performance this weekend.”

Roos will be part of a formidable loose trio alongside Rugby World Cup winners Kwagga Smith and Bok captain Pieter-Steph du Toit. He praises the Bok pack, boasting seven members who were part of the triumphant World Cup squad that conquered New Zealand last year.

“Playing alongside these World Cup winners makes my job much easier,” Roos acknowledges. “I’ve known these guys for a few years now, and it gets more comfortable each time we train together.”

The tough No 8 expects a relentless battle against Wales, who are determined to bounce back after a disappointing Six Nations campaign where they managed just one win. “They remind me a lot of us South Africans,” says Roos. “They’re hardworking and humble. We expect them to fight tooth and nail for the entire 80 minutes. They’re not afraid to push themselves to the limit, so we’re anticipating a tough contest upfront. They have a physical pack, so it’s shaping up to be a real Test match this weekend.”

Roos emphasizes the importance of starting 2024 on a strong note to set the tone for the upcoming season, which includes the Castle Lager Incoming Series, Castle Lager Rugby Championship, and a challenging tour to the UK in November.

“This is a crucial Test,” says Roos. “We need to execute what we’ve practiced in training. Every team wants to win, so we’ll definitely give it our all this weekend and try to make it a special day for the debutants.”

The four players making their debut are Jordan Hendrikse (flyhalf), Edwill van der Merwe (wing), who are starting, and Ben-Jason Dixon (utility forward) and Sacha Feinberg-Mngomezulu (utility back) on the replacements bench.

Picture courtesy of Stormers

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