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Calls growing for Stormers' 21-year-old prospect to make Springbok squad

By Sam Smith
(Photo By Sam Barnes/Sportsfile via Getty Images)

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Another prospect has emerged in South Africa as a potential long-term replacement for Springboks Number 8 Duane Vermeulen, with Stormers prospect Evan Roos continuing to impress in the United Rugby Championship.

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Vermeulen battled through injuries in 2021 to make a valiant return for the Rugby Championship games against the Wallabies and the All Blacks but how long he continues at the international level is uncertain.

The 58-cap international would be 37-years-old at the next World Cup and the Springboks have shown their willingness to develop experience for Jasper Wiese who featured in eight tests this year including the last two against the British & Irish Lions to win the series.

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The Stormers 21-year-old Eighth man Evan Roos also managed to secure game time against the touring Lions, impressing with his ball-carrying in the match although his side fell 49-3 to the test quality Lions team.

Roos has continued to impress on his first trip to Europe, playing a key role as the Stormers came away with a 20-all draw against Edinburgh. He made 15 tackles with a 100 per cent completion rate as well as eight carries, while winning one turnover.

Roos also set-up one of the Stormers’ two tries with a breakaway run before offloading to his scrumhalf in support Paul de Wet.

The Stormers played the game with just 35 per cent possession and were forced into making 193 tackles compared to Edinburgh’s 44, but many Stormers’ players like Roos were able to withstand high tackle counts.

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South African rugby writer Craig Ray described Roos as “the real deal” after helping his side to a draw against Edinburgh, and claimed he would be on the end of year tour barring injury.

Many fans mirrored Ray’s thoughts asking for Erasmus and Nienaber to consider including him in the Springboks squad for their November tour which includes games against Wales, Scotland and England.

His early URC form isn’t a surprise to Stormers supporters, who saw Roos become one of the team’s best players in the Currie Cup as he scored eight tries with his explosive speed and damaging running ability.

Last week against Munster, one of the top sides the URC has to offer, Roos made 20 carries and again tackled at 100 per cent with 13 and won another turnover.

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The former South African schoolboy player originally joined the Sharks in Durban following school, but the move didn’t work out and he returned back to the Cape where the Stormers were able to accomodate him.

He was a standout performer in their Currie Cup campaign and the Stormers were able to sign him on a four-year extension in September to keep Roos in Cape Town for the foreseeable future.

With the side on Europe road trip, Roos would have to potentially stay on after next week’s clash against the Dragons to link up with the Springboks if he is to be selected.

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