Ross Roche
Senior sports writer
2 minute read
14 Jul 2022
9:33 am

Lood de Jager says pressure of series decider against Wales good for Boks

Ross Roche

De Jager will be linking up with soon to be Bok centurion Eben Etzebeth for his landmark appearance in the match.

Springbok lock Lood de Jager is expecting a tough lineout battle in the final Test against Wales on Saturday. Picture: Anton Geyser/Gallo Images

Springboks lock Lood de Jager is gearing up for a tough battle in the lineouts, as the Boks aim to get the upper hand in the set pieces during the third Test decider against Wales at the Cape Town Stadium on Saturday.

The hosts have had varying levels of success in the lineouts over the series so far, with Wales putting in a strong showing in that facet and De Jager is hoping that they can respond with a big effort of their own in that department.

He is also relishing the challenge of the decider and believes matches like this will prepare the Boks well for bigger games down the road.

“Wales have some good plans and they have good line-out forwards in the form of Adam Beard and Will Rowlands. So it’s going to be a big battle. Set-pieces are always massive in Test rugby,” said De Jager.

“We’ve tried to improve every single week and I’m sure Wales are working on this area as well. So we really need to be good and efficient to have a good Test.

“For us, this is a final, the series is on the line and Wales feel the same way. We have big games coming up this year and next year as well, so it will be good for us to get used to pressure games such as these.”

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De Jager’s lock partner Etzebeth

De Jager will be linking up with soon to be Bok centurion Eben Etzebeth for his landmark appearance, with this set to be the 31st time the two have paired together, making them the second highest capped lock duo behind Victor Matfield and Bakkies Botha.

Despite the big personal milestones for Etzebeth and Bongi Mbonambi, who makes his 50th Bok appearance, De Jager believes the goal is to win to make it even better for them.

“It’s very special to play Eben’s 100th Test alongside him,” admitted De Jager.

“It’s unbelievable what those guys have achieved. It’s a massive honour putting on that jersey even once, so to do it 100 times like Eben and 50 times like Bongi just shows consistency and how hard they’ve worked

“For us, there is a bigger picture. We as a team need to win a game on Saturday to make it special for those guys. We’re just focusing on putting on a good performance.”