It hasn’t been an easy journey for FNB TUT prop Jakobus Roos who is registered as weighing 146kg – heavier than any other 2020 FNB Varsity Shield (or FNB Varsity Cup) player.
Roos readily admits that competing at training is a challenge for him and that any future hopes he has of turning professional will depend on him shifting some ‘timber’.
“My weight has both a negative and positive impact. From a negative perspective, imagine a 100kg rugby player needs to put on a 50kg bag of cement and then run onto the field. You get tired easily and you struggle to keep up,” Roos explained to varsitycup.co.za.
“If I can lose five or six kilogrammes I will be happy … I need to work harder in training to keep up with my teammates as I’m still struggling sometimes. I’m not saying it is a bad thing to be big but there’s more hard work to it compared to the other guys.”
The 24-year-old star went on to share what he tells his Vikings teammates to help him improve his weak points during training.
“I’ve played with some of the boys since under-19 such as our captain Mpho Kganakga so some of them still struggle [to tackle him] but I usually tell them to go for my ankles. It is working because I go on ground easily because if you are big and tall and they go for your ankles then you have no chance,” reveals the third year Sport and Exercise Technology student.
HEAVIEST PLAYERS IN 2020 SEASON
146kg – Jakobus Roos (FNB TUT)
145kg – Sino Ralo (FNB Rhodes)
145kg – Justin Theys (FNB UWC)
135kg – Kayden Kiewit (FNB UJ)
130kg – Ruan Swiegers (FNB NWU)
*According to pre-tournament player profiles
‘Kowie’, who has been an ever-present in the Number 3 jersey for TUT’s four Varsity Shield games, before the Coronavirus-enforced suspension of the season, is determined to continue proving himself as a worthy starter.
“I am the biggest in the team and my challenges is that I have to put more work compared to the other guys. Another thing, big guys are not mobile so I just need to work harder and lose some weight.”
As it happens, Roos met his closest match in size stakes in the 2020 season-opener against FNB Rhodes as the Stallions captain Sino Ralo tips the scales at 145kg and stands 1.97m tall. Roos, though, didn't their clash any more emphasis than any other against an opposing loosehead prop.
“It was not different, I know that I am big it’s not like I am bragging or boasting but people tell me all the time. However, I know that the are other big guys like me that play rugby so it wasn’t different. It was just a normal rugby game but I would have liked to get a one-on-one with the other big guy as I like challenges but it felt normal,” concluded Roos.
PLAYER PROFILE Jakobus Roos
Full name: Jakobus Abraham Roos
Born: 13/12/1995 in Pretoria
Position: Tighthead prop
Studying: Sport and Exercise Technology (3rd Year)