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Nienaber explains why Lood de Jager has missed out again

By Chris Jones
Lood de Jager of the Springboks looks on during The Rugby Championship match between the Australia Wallabies and South Africa Springboks at Allianz Stadium on September 03, 2022 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Matt King/Getty Images)

Springbok coach Jacques Nienaber insists former Sale Sharks lock Lood de Jager remains a key member of the squad despite missing Saturday’s Test against Argentina in Buenos Aires.


De Jager, whose career has been hampered by repeated shoulder issues, was far from his best against New Zealand in Auckland on 15 July and was due to return against the Pumas. However, he misses out and Nienaber has been quick to reveal it is illness not poor form that has sidelined the line-out specialist who is short of match practice.

Marvin Orie starts alongside Jean Kleyn at lock against the Pumas in the final game before the World Cup squad is named on August 8 which means de Jager will be relying on past form and the fact he helped win the trophy in 2019 to ensure he is on the plane to France.

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Nienaber said: “Lood was supposed to start, but he’s a little bit chesty. The doctor said it wasn’t going to be worth it and Marvin came with us in the event something like this happened.

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“It would have been nice to give Lood a run because he last played against New Zealand and it would’ve been nice to give him a run. There’s no injury, so he’s just sick, so we feel it’s a little bit of a risk and that’s why Marvin is starting.”

The head coach is also still working out his back row options and for this match he has opted for Deon Fourie at openside flank and Franco Mostert at blindside flank. He explained: “What Deon gave us when he came off the bench in the Australia game was intensity and the stuff that he brought to the Stormers.

“If Deon also brings what he brought at the end-of-year tour, we’ll also be happy, which is why we select him so that we can see the Deon Fourie we see week in and week out.


“We know Franco only played one game against New Zealand … we know our forwards didn’t do us any favours in the first 20 minutes.

“There are numerous reasons behind that start, but when Franco stepped in at number seven, he showed he could operate there. He’s been good for us there.”


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Jimmy 344 days ago

Mostert is way off form, now a liability

Zacharey 345 days ago

this is sooooooooooo suprising

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William 3 hours ago
All Blacks vs England takeaways: Richie Who? Time for Cortez

Correct analysis of Perofeta’s bungling of the try opportunity Ben. Never ‘fixed’ Steward as he came across in defence and passed too early. Steward didn’t have to break his stride and simply moved on to pressure Telea. Never scanned the easier option of passing to the two supporting players on the inside. Beauden Barrett showed how it is done when he put Telea in for his try. Another point from the game is that the rush defence is hard to maintain as the number of phases increases. From scrums the defensive line only contains backs who all have roughly the same pace. Once forwards are involved, the defence has players with variable speeds often leading to a jagged line. It also tends to lose pace overall giving the attack more time and space. Beauden Barrett’s break to set up Telea’s try came because Baxter went in to tackle McKenzie and Steward went out to cover Telea. Barrett has a massive hole to run through, then commits Steward by passing as late as possible and Telea scores untouched. Another comment I would make is that Ben Earl is a good player and generally an excellent defender but he made three significant misses in the series, two of which led to All Black tries. Got stepped by Perofeta in Dunedin for Savea’s try, missed McKenzie in Auckland leading to what should have been a certain try being set up by Perofeta and was one of the tacklers who couldn’t stop Savea in the leadup to Telea’s first try. Perhaps he should contact Owen Farrell to pick up a few tips from ‘tackle school’.

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