Lood de Jager is set to add to 28 caps for the Springboks. Photo: Reuters / Andrew Boyers
PRETORIA – The Springboks and Bulls have secured the prized signature of lock Lood de Jager, who will remain in the country until the 2019 Rugby World Cup.

The 24-year-old De Jager, who has played in 28 Tests, apparently committed to both club and country last week where he penned a two year deal with the South African Rugby Union and the Blue Bulls Company.

The signing of De Jager will be a major coup for both the Springboks and Bulls after fears that he might follow in the steps of compatriot Jan Serfontein who turned down the offer of a national contract due to allegedly already having signed with a French Top 14 side.

The loss of Serfontein to the Bulls and Springbok rugby will be a massive blow and for a while it had seemed as though De Jager would also succumb to the lucrative pull of the Euro.

De Jager says he was always committed to staying in South Africa until 2019 and even though he had initially signed a one year deal with the Bulls, he was waiting for an offer from Saru regarding his future with the national team.

“My intentions were never to leave. Initially I only signed for a year because that was the duration of my Springbok contract. Now with the new extension at the Springboks and the Bulls, I’m really looking forward to the coming years,” De Jager said.

Earlier this year De Jager was the first Springbok player to publicly endorse Springbok coach Allister Coetzee and also attributed a lot of the national team’s failings from last year on the players.

Since moving from the Cheetahs to Pretoria at the end of last year, De Jager not only has a renewed energy towards contributing to the resurgence of the Bulls but he is also still very passionate about donning the Springbok jersey and helping them return to the top of world rugby.

“I think we have something great here at the Bulls with a great young team and hopefully we can build something special in the next couple of years,” said De Jager.

“I want to continue to play for the Springboks. That’s a big passion of mine. I’d love to continue to contribute to the Bulls and Springboks for the next couple of years.

The Bulls were relieved to know that they would be holding on to one of their Springbok stars after the disappointment of not being able to keep Serfontein and they are hoping that De Jager will play a pivotal role in seeing them win a fourth Super Rugby title in the next few years.

“We are overjoyed that Lood has decided to extend his contract with us and the Springboks. It shows you that there are still players who choose South Africa and their passion for the Springboks over the big money offers from overseas,” said the Bulls High Performance manager Xander Janse Van Rensburg.