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'That is massive to hear': Roos ready to fire against Italy with support from childhood hero

By Rugby365
Evan Roos charges at the Welsh line.Photo by Charle Lombard/Gallo Images/Getty Images

Evan Roos is heading into Saturday’s clash against Italy full of confidence after he got a message of support from his childhood hero.

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The Stormers star will be playing off the bench in Genoa in what will be only his second Test in the green and gold.

The 22-year-old No.8, who was crowned the best player in the inaugural season of the United Rugby Championship, played his first and only Test against Wales in the July international window.

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After biding his time on the sidelines, Roos is eager to prove his worth on the international stage and the youngster received some extra motivation from Bok veteran Duane Vermeulen.

“It wasn’t a lesson, but we chatted recently and he just said that he will always have my back,” said Roos.

“That is massive to hear from someone who is your one of your childhood heroes.

“I immediately called my dad and said: ‘Dad, you won’t believe the message I just got’.

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“There is the normal technical stuff which he always helps me with, but that little message that he sent me means quite a lot.

“It kind of puts me at ease as well knowing someone of that experience and stature is backing me.”

Roos said he won’t try and change the way he plays when he comes off the bench on Saturday.

“I’m very excited about this opportunity, so much so that I am struggling to sleep at night,” said Roos.

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“It has been a while since I last played a Test, so I really want to bring energy and a presence off the bench. I won’t do anything differently I just want to play my game.

“The last time I got a chance to play was against Wales, so one learns to appreciate it, and when you get the opportunity to play it is even more special.”

Roos added: “I’ve been learning a lot from Jasper [Wiese] and Kwagga [Smith] and I am trying to take everything in.

“The nice thing about this environment is that it is competitive, but we help one another.”

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