Superstar Evan Roos was relieved to return to the pitch and contribute

Stormers star Evan Roos crashes against Clermont in Champions Cup Credit: Alamy

Stormers star Evan Roos crashes against Clermont in Champions Cup Credit: Alamy

Stormers number eight Evan Roos is thankful to be back on the pitch after being sidelined with a rib injury.

Roos lit up the pitch on his return by scoring in 90 seconds on his Champions Cup debut as he was one of the key stars to turn things around for the Stormers in a 30–16 second-half win.

I’d love to contribute

The Springbok star is delighted to have helped the team reach the round of 16, where the Cape Town team will face the Harlequins in a thrilling match at the end of March.

“It’s great to be back… after a two-month hiatus before replaying the first game,” said Roos. “I was just happy to be able to keep up!

“I was happy to help turn the game around by making an impact and also help secure a place in the knockout stage. Now I hope we can go all the way.”

Roos admits it’s hard to watch from the sidelines and looks to build on his teammates’ good form as he prepares for the big clash with Ulster.

“Observing from the outside isn’t always easy or fun, but my body needed a break, especially a mental one,” said Roos.

“I’ve been happy not to play rugby for a while but not being able to watch my team play when I’m not playing is a strange feeling. Now I watch what the rest of the team is doing well and I bring their good habits into my game.

Roos is “proud” of the duo of Hacjivah Dayimani and Dan du Plessis for their sensational form over the past few weeks. Dayimani, who moved up to eighth in the absence of Springbok, was rewarded with a contract extension until 2025 with the Cape Town team.

While du Plessis was firing on all cylinders, exemplified by his scythe run against Clermont which ended with one of the round’s tries.

“I am immensely proud of both of them, especially Dan after his concussion problems last year. It’s amazing to see him as good as he is now.

“I was pretty jealous that I wasn’t there with them, so I’m happy to be there now and ready to add another option to our attack.”

I am looking forward to the Kingspan experience

The solid star is looking forward to playing at Kingspan Stadium for the first time this weekend and hopes to adapt quickly to the change in weather.

“It’s going to be an amazing game and playing at Kingspan Stadium will be special. Dobbo (John Dobson) and I talked about it and it’s one of those stadiums where you have to experience the game. It has an amazing atmosphere and we are looking forward to it,” said Roos.

“Going from Cape Town, which was 38 degrees, to Belfast, which is 7 degrees, takes some getting used to after not touring France and London like the rest of the band this season.

“Ulster have a powerful scrum and maul and a very good organized attack, so we have to counter that.

“They’re a quality team with great players, so it’s going to be a tough but good fight that we’re definitely ready for.”

READ MORE: Breaking boundaries with Hacjivah Dayimani, the rugby star he desperately needs

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