Stormers star Evan Roos relieved to be back on the field

Stormers star Evan Roos relieved to be back on the field

Stormers number eight Evan Roos is grateful to be back on the field and playing again after being sidelined with a rib injury.

Roos lit up the pitch on his return, scoring 90 seconds into his Champions Cup debut as he was one of the key stars to turn the game for the Stormers in their 30-16 win over Clermont Auvergne.

The Springbok star is delighted to have contributed to the team's push on into the last 16, where the Cape Town side will welcome Harlequins for a fascinating game at the end of March.

"It is awesome being back ¦ after two months out of action before playing my first game again," Roos said. "I was just happy I could keep up!

"I was pleased that I could contribute to turning the game around by making an impact, as well as help secure a spot in the knockout stages. Now hopefully we can go all the way."

Roos admits watching from the sidelines is difficult and is looking to feed off his teammates' good form as he prepares for a big clash against Ulster.

"It's not always easy or fun to watch from the outside yet my body needed the break, especially mentally," Roos said.

"I enjoyed being away from rugby for a bit, but I can't watch my team playing when I'm not playing, it feels weird. I'm now taking in what the rest of the squad is doing right, and adopting their good habits into my game."

Roos is "proud" of duo Hacjivah Dayimani and Dan du Plessis for their sensational form over the last couple of weeks. Dayimani, who shifted to number eight in the Springbok's absence, has been rewarded with a contract extension to 2025 with the Cape Town side.

While du Plessis has been firing on all cylinders, typified by his scything run against Clermont, resulting in one of the tries of the round.

"I'm immensely proud of both of them, especially Dan after his concussion problems last year. Playing as well as he is now is awesome to see," Roos said.

"I was quite jealous that I haven't been there with them, so I'm happy I am there now and ready to add another option to our attack."

The robust Stormers star is looking forward to playing at Kingspan Stadium for the first time this weekend and is hoping to adjust quickly to the change in weather.

"It's going to be an amazing match and to play at Kingspan Stadium will be special. Dobbo (John Dobson) and I chatted about it and it's one of those stadiums you have to experience playing at. It has an immense atmosphere and we can't wait," Roos said.

"Coming out of Cape Town where it was as high as 38 degrees, to Belfast where it is seven degrees, it's something to get used to again after not having toured to France and London like the rest of the team this season.

"Ulster have a formidable scrum and maul as well as a very good, structured attack, so we have to counter that.

"They are a quality side with great players, so it's going to be a tough but good fight, and one we are definitely up for."