Rudolph Jacobs
Rugby Journalist
1 minute read
17 Jun 2014
6:00 am

All over in a flash for Lood

Rudolph Jacobs

For new Springbok lock find Lood de Jager, last weekend's first Test against Wales in Durban was over in a blink of an eye.

The 21-year-old De Jager earned his first cap off the bench when he replaced veteran Bakkies Botha after half-time when the 79-Test stalwart limped off with an Achilles heel injury.

“What amazing occurrence to play my first Test, from the national anthem to the moment when I ran on the field, truly a day to remember,” said the Cheetahs second-rower.

“Whether I played one minute or 30 it was over much too quickly, but I was fortunate in the end to get 40, which was more than I had initially bargained for.”

While the Boks will be boosted this week by the return of Bulls lock Flip van der Merwe who was given time off to attend his brother’s wedding last week, De Jager could stay in the mix with the doubt over Botha.

Bok coach Heyneke Meyer, who said that De Jager and Eben Etzebeth – who could return next week for the Scotland Test in Port Elizabeth – are possibly the Bok locks of the future together with the injured Pieter-Steph du Toit.

“I think one must also remember that between Bakkies and Victor (Matfield) there are something like 1 000 calls that have to be learned,” said Meyer.

“But I thought Lood was great when he came on and he can be happy with his first Test for his country.”

De Jager, born in Alberton, said he also thought the shape of the game changed in the second half with Wales getting more of their hands on the ball.

“I think the guys played wonderfully in that first half but in the second half Wales showed why they can be such a tough team to play against. They are a physical bunch of guys,” he said.