Southern Districts halfback Dewet Roos gets last minute Super Rugby shot
Southern Districts halfback Dewet Roos will get his first taste of Super Rugby this year after signing a two-month supplementary contract with the Brumbies.
Roos heads to Canberra as cover for Argentinian No.9 Tomas Cubelli, who is expected to miss at least the first half of the Super Rugby season after rupturing his patellar tendon in the Brumbies trial match against the Waratahs.
The 26-year old has been one of the Shute Shield’s best performers for several seasons and starred for the Australian Barbarians in a trial match against the Brumbies earlier this year.
“I was on my way to South Africa and heard about Cubelli’s injury and my manager reached out to the Brumbies to see what was happening. While I was overseas I got a message saying ‘don’t get your hopes up, but they are looking at you,’ then I got home on Monday and got a call from the Brumbies and they offered me a two-month contract.
“I spoke to Steve Larkham on Wednesday and he said they wanted me down in Canberra as soon as possible, so it all happened in about a week.”
Considered by many as one of the best unsigned players in Australia, Roos watched a handful of younger halfbacks earn professional contracts in recent years, despite impressing for Southern Districts and both the Rams and Rays in the NRC.
“I was always happy for guys when they got their chance, but it was really disappointing every time it happened. When you are working so hard for something and then someone else gets picked ahead of you, it hurts, but it’s made me a tougher player and person,” he said.
“I’m really looking forward to getting in that professional environment where I can just focus on footy and not worry about managing a full-time job as well.”
At 26, Roos has turned down a number of opportunities to head overseas, preferring to focus on his Super Rugby dream instead.
“I never lost hope but I think I’d accepted that I may only ever play good first grade footy down at Southern Districts. Recently I started training with Justin Lang at Live Athletic and he made me reassess my goals. He told me that I had what it takes and put me on a pretty tough program over summer.
“He made me realise that a guy like Scott Fardy never got a chance until he was older and that it was possible and that helped me start believing that it could happen again.”
With Cubelli set for an extended stint of the sideline, Roos will battle 22-year old Joe Powell and 18-year old Ryan Lonergan for game time at the base of the Brumbies scrum.
“I’m not looking too far ahead just yet. I’m just glad to be in Canberra and in a professional environment and if I concentrate on my own game and work hard, then we’ll see what happens,” he said.
“The Brumbies have a really young squad at the moment and I’m probably a few years older than most of the guys so I think there’s a good opportunity for me to show my maturity.
“I think it’s the foot in the door that I needed. Hopefully, it’s just the start of things but I’m trying not to get too far ahead of myself. I’ve got two months to put my best foot forward and show what I can do and then who knows what can happen from there.”
The Brumbies open their 2017 Super Rugby campaign against the Crusaders in Christchurch on Saturday night.