Ross Roche

By Ross Roche

Senior sports writer

URC star Evan Roos’ Springbok snub a perplexing matter

For the tour Down Under, eight loose forwards were picked, including utility forwards Franco Mostert and Deon Fourie.

What has Evan Roos done to fall out of favour with the Springbok management team?

Rising star Roos was one of the big names left out of the Springbok touring squad to Australia for their two Rugby Championship games, and one wonders if this has put paid to his chances of competing at next year’s World Cup?

The Stormers eighthman was in scintillating form for the United Rugby Championship champions, and absolutely dominated the end of season awards, winning the Player of the Season, Players Player, Fans Player and Next-Gen Player of the Season awards.

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This was rewarded with a first ever call-up to the Bok squad for the Welsh incoming series in July and first two Rugby Championship games against the All Blacks this month.

But in a stacked loose forward department Roos found his chances limited, with him featuring just once over those five games, a 47-minute showing for the experimental Bok team in the second Welsh Test.

This was hardly enough time to properly evaluate his talents on the international stage, but despite this he put in a pretty solid showing, impressing with ball in hand and at the breakdown.

Eight loose forwards

For the tour Down Under, eight loose forwards were picked, including utility forwards Franco Mostert, who also covers lock, and Deon Fourie, who will cover hooker.

Duane Vermeulen and Jasper Wiese are the front runners for the number eight jersey, but it seems that Bulls eighthman Elrigh Louw has moved ahead of Roos in the pecking order, with him retaining his place for the tour.

It is also Louw’s maiden stint with the world champions, and he featured twice for them in the Welsh series, both times off the bench in the first and third Tests.

The Bulls number eight thus seems to be the clear favourite as back-up to Vermeulen and Wiese, with him playing the very abrasive game that the Bok management enjoy.

However, this then leaves an incredible talent like Roos in the lurch and with just five loose forwards heading to the World Cup next year, his chances of being at the showpiece event are disappearing fast.

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