Sale Sharks have announced the huge signing of South African lock Lood De Jager who will be leaving Vodacom Bulls. He has signed a three year contract which will begin his time in Manchester either at the start of the 2019/20 Premiership season or after the Rugby World Cup if as expected he is selected by the Springboks.
To date De Jager has won an impressive 38 caps for his country which is a significant achievement for a 26 year old. He began his career with the Toyota Cheetahs and quickly caught the attention of the Springbok selectors with his impressive performances and physical attributes, at 6’9″ and weighing a huge 125kg he was difficult to ignore and he made his debut at just 21 years old.
In 2016 De Jager moved from Bloemfontein based Cheetahs to the Pretoria based Bulls. To date he has made 20 appearances for the Bulls and was selected as their captain for the 2019 season.
The acquisition of De Jager is a huge statement of intent from Sale Sharks as they aspire to be a consistently competitive side in both England and Europe. He will join fellow Springbok superstar Faf De Klerk at the club and will hope to be as much a success at the club as De Klerk has proved to be.
Sale Sharks Director of Rugby Steve Diamond commented on the signing saying, “I am extremely pleased to secure the services Lood for the 2019/20 season. He is a world class line-out operator with lots of experience at the highest level and offers a huge physical presence around the pitch. Lood’s signing is a statement of intent in our endeavour to become a force in the Gallagher Premiership and Europe over the next three years.”
De Jager has also spoken of his excitement on moving to ply his trade in England, “Firstly it is a great honour for me to join Sale Sharks, they are a club with great tradition and really high ambitions and they are building something really special. It’s exciting to be a part of and I am looking forward to joining up with the guys in Manchester later in the year.”
Fans of both Sale and the Premiership will share in his enthusiasm towards the move as it is always great to witness world class players in action and De Jager has established himself as one of the worlds top second rows. The Sharks faithful will be hoping his physical playing style and leadership qualities can help move the club on to the next level.
Written by Stefan Hamilton