Blue Bulls lock Lood de Jager takes on the Western Province defence at Newlands last Saturday. Photo: Phando Jikelo/African News Agency/ANA

JOHANNESBURG – Ahead of a busy international season, Lood de Jager made an impressive return to action for the Blue Bulls against Western Province at Newlands on Saturday.

Springbok assistant coach Matt Proudfoot was pleased with the game time and performance of De Jager, who played just over 50 minutes for the Bulls.

It was the Springbok lock’s first time back on the field since he was sidelined with an injury early in the Super Rugby campaign.

“Lood understood and executed their plan, and now we are looking forward to get him firing in our system,” said Proudfoot.

“We arrived in Johannesburg on Sunday and everyone is buzzing – we realise it’s a huge year for the Springboks and for the country.”

South Africa play Australia in their opening Rugby Championship at Ellis Park on Saturday.

“This season provides us with a huge challenge, and with every challenge we realise that there are important steps along the way, and the most important step is the first one.

“We’ve prepared well for this Test against Australia and we are looking forward to this challenge.

“We’ve had some time together as a group and everyone is aligned on what we want to achieve. It has been very pleasing to see how the players have taken ownership during this period.”

The Springboks resumed training for Saturday’s Test with a good morning workout in the gym as well as a solid field session in the afternoon.

Springbok coach Rassie Erasmus, the SA Rugby Director of Rugby, will announce the match-day squad on Wednesday.

African News Agency (ANA)