The Boks are always expected to bring at least two key players back into the starting line-up for this Saturday’s second Test against Wales in Bloemfontein, while Evan Roos is expected to be a new addition among the substitutes.
Superstars Pieter-Steph du Toit and Handre Pollard are back in selection contention this week, and certain to come back into the team, which will be named at midday on Tuesday.
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Last Saturday it took a late penalty from Damian Willemse for the Springboks to snatch victory from the jaws of what would have been a humiliating defeat in the opening encounter in Pretoria.
It now appears that the Boks are set to make dramatic changes to the matchday squad, but this will have nothing to do with what many might perceive to be a knee-jerk reaction to last weekend’s subpar performance.
It’s understood that the Springboks management team have had a very clearcut plan that was set out before the start of the season, and the second Test against Wales was always earmarked as the game where some players would be rested, and others would bank much-needed game-time.
If the Boks had lost the first Test, some plans may have been adjusted, but there is very good reason to believe the national coaches will shock some supporters when they name the team on Tuesday and enforce a plan to keep testing out each player in the 42-man squad this season.
Roos is expected to make his debut off the Boks’ bench this Saturday
Roos made his appearance at a Springboks press conference on Monday afternoon, and all signs suggest he is line for a Test debut this weekend.
“It is quite a rollercoaster. It has been unreal. I am just really happy to be part of this. I didn’t ever think it would happen,” said Roos when talking about his journey to this point in his career.
“To be sitting here is quite surreal. I just try to work hard every day and take in as much from these experienced players and this coaching staff as I can and just become a better rugby player.”
It’s tricky to work out exactly how Roos would fit into the squad, particularly considering Pieter-Steph du Toit should be back in selection contention this week. However, his presence in the media this week will certainly attract the attention of many fans who have been calling for his inclusion after a stunning URC season with the Stormers.
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In all likelihood, he will play off the bench this Saturday alongside Elrigh Louw, who made his national debut last weekend.
“Elrigh and I go back to 2019. We were in the Junior Bok squad together. Unfortunately, I didn’t go to the U20 World Cup, but we spent a lot of time together in the training camp,” Roos explained.
“Everyone builds up the rivalry between us, but we actually get on really well and are quite good mates. He is an awesome player and there is a lot I have learned from him.
“We often exchange advice and tips to become better players.”
Springbok coach Jacques Nienaber will name his match-day 23-man squad for the opening Test on Tuesday, 5 July at 12:30.
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