PRETORIA – Lood de Jager played ‘water boy’ in South Africa’s title-winning victory over Argentina in Salta but is expected to earn a starring role in this weekend’s clash against the same side in Pretoria.
The 28-year-old is likely to make his return after he featured in the Boks’ 35-17 over Australia in Johannesburg last month.
De Jager was not just a glorified water boy this weekend but relayed messages from the coaching box to his teammates. This exercise has kept De Jager in tune with the game-plan which will hold him in good stead when he runs onto the field.
“It was a good experience, last year in the Currie Cup I had a bit of experience with it but this was at a whole other level doing it for the Springboks,” De Jager said.
“There is a lot of information coming into your ear, and you need to get it onto the field as short and sweet as possible. It is not always the sweetest messages.”
De Jager is champing at the bit to get back into the swing of things, looking to make a contribution on the field instead of from the sidelines.
“I am excited, there is a lot of strong, healthy competition in this group and I must emphasise that it is a healthy competition. It is guys looking out for each other, helping each other to be better, and that is what I think helped us win the championship.”
De Jager said they expected a serious onslaught from Los Pumas with the South Americans looking to bounce back from their resounding 46-13 defeat to the Boks.
“It is a massive opportunity for me this weekend, especially playing at Loftus, I love playing there,” De Jager said.
“It is going to be a big Test match, and Argentina is coming here with a mission. I think they are a bit hurt after last weekend and they are coming here with something to prove.”
Springbok coach Rassie Erasmus called up four fringe players for the Test before they depart for Japan ahead of the Rugby World Cup.
Western Province players Scarra Ntubeni, Wilco Louw and Dillyn Leyds are joined by Blue Bulls loose forward Marco van Staden.@ockertde