Lood de Jager begins Rugby Championship journey in Currie Cup clash against WP
Big lock gives Blue Bulls a huge boost
Lood de Jager’s mission to be fully fit for the 2019 Rugby Championship starts with a Currie Cup clash against Western Province in Cape Town on Saturday.
The big lock was included in the Blue Bulls squad for the trip by coach Pote Human in what will be his first competitive match since injury forced him to withdraw from Super Rugby in February.
With players such as captain Burger Odendaal‚ Cornal Hendricks‚ Rosko Specman‚ Divan Rossouw‚ Simphiwe Matanzima and Embrose Papier‚ De Jager joins an experienced team with lots of Super Rugby experience.
Looking ahead of the trip‚ Human welcomed the availability of De Jager as a huge boost to his team as he will add value while at the same time working on his fitness for the Springboks.
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“Lood played very well before his injury and worked really hard to get back onto the field‚” said Human. “I am sure he is ready to give it a good go‚ we have some form players in the team at the moment but playing at Newlands against such a formidable team is always a tough start.”
In the squad‚ flanker Wian Vosloo, 24, is the only newcomer to the squad from the Sharks and is one of five players who will be making their Currie Cup debuts for the Pretoria side.
Super Rugby stars De Jager‚ Hendricks‚ Specman and prop Wiehahn Herbst will play for the Currie Cup team for the first time and Jean Droste‚ who had a few seasons with the Sharks‚ is also back in Pretoria and will play off the bench.
Due to the Rugby World Cup in Japan later in 2019‚ the Rugby Championship will be a shortened version of the annual competition.
The Springboks will only play three matches against Australia‚ New Zealand and Argentina.
Blue Bulls: Divan Rossouw‚ Cornal Hendricks‚ Johnny Kotze‚ Burger Odendaal (c)‚ Rosko Specman‚ Manie Libbok‚ Embrose Papier‚ Tim Agaba‚ Wian Vosloo‚ Ruan Steenkamp‚ Lood de Jager‚ Ruan Nortjie‚ Wiehahn Herbst‚ Jaco Visagie‚ Simphiwe Matanzima. Replacements: Johan Grobbelaar‚ Matthys Basson‚ Conraad van Vuuren‚ Jean Droste‚ Roelof Smit‚ Ivan van Zyl‚ Marnitz Boshoff‚ Dylan Sage