Lood's big Bok Test: I'm really starting to feel good again
There is no doubt that Lood de Jager is highly rated by Springbok coach Rassie Erasmus.
Even though the 26-year-old missed most of the Super Rugby season with the Bulls, due to a shoulder injury, he was still included in the training camps leading up to the Rugby Championship.
And while he only made his return to the pitch for the Blue Bulls in the Currie Cup against Western Province on 13 July, De Jager was brought straight into the starting line-up a week later when the Boks beat Australia at Ellis Park.
He has missed out over the last two games, with Franco Mostert reclaiming the No 5 jersey against the All Blacks and Argentina, and RG Snyman the back-up lock on the bench.
But there is little doubt that De Jager will be on the plane to Japan – at least as the fourth lock.
He is a better player than that, though, and Saturday’s World Cup warm-up clash against Argentina at Loftus Versfeld presents the 2.05m giant a perfect opportunity to catch Erasmus’ eye.
The Bok boss has stated that he will be giving game time to those players who haven’t had much of a run in recent weeks.
On top of that, the former Cheetahs stalwart, who has 39 Test caps, will also be able to bid farewell to his latest home ground, as he has signed for the Sale Sharks in England after the World Cup.
“I didn’t have the chance to finish at Loftus as I would have wanted in Super Rugby because of getting injured, so I am pretty excited,” De Jager told the Springbok website on Tuesday.
“Obviously it’s a massive opportunity for me this weekend, especially playing at Loftus – I love playing there.
Siya and his Springbok team mates meeting the fans at the end of their training session at Loftus.— Springboks (@Springboks) August 13, 2019
Get your ticket for the @unionargentina match at @TicketProSA. #StrongerTogether@MTNza @ pic.twitter.com/2O9nVa6Qa6
“I’m really excited to be getting back on the field; getting some game time, and I’m really starting to feel good again and getting some confidence.
“For me, this weekend is just about going out and executing my job, and hopefully each week I can develop and get better.
“Hopefully when the World Cup comes round, I’ll be somewhere nearby.”@ashfakmohamed