Cheetahs wish De Jager well
Cape Town - The Cheetahs have wished lock Lood de Jager well in his future endeavours after it was confirmed on Tuesday that he will turn out for the Bulls from November 2016.
De Jager played his first Super Rugby match for the franchise against the Sharks in 2013, bursting on the scene aged just 20. He went onto feature in 17 matches during the year before making his Currie Cup debut later that season.
He quickly earned his first Springbok cap in 2014 as a substitute against Wales in Durban.
“I really learned a lot here and made lots of friends. It is hard for me to leave and I am really grateful towards Free State Rugby for everything that they have done for me over the last three and a half years,” said De Jager.
“Free State Rugby really meant a lot for me in my rugby career. They gave me a chance when I came from nowhere. I didn’t play Craven Week. I only played for PUK and the Leopards. At the end of 2012 they gave me the opportunity to train with the Super Rugby group when I was a nobody.”
De Jager was thankful to the two coaches who had guided his career in Bloemfontein.
“I also learned a lot from the two coaches, Naka Drotske and Franco Smith. They each had a different approach but I have a lot of respect for both of them. I think that they both did and are doing well in their situations and I have a lot of respect for them on and from the field."
“I would like to thank 'oom' Harold Verster, the managing director and the director of rugby Rory Duncan for always being good to me.”
Although the Cheetahs will forever remain etched in his memory, De Jager was looking forward to a new challenge with the Bulls.
“It will be a new chapter in my life and I’m looking forward to going to the Bulls. The Bulls are a union with a rich history and I hope to do my part for them.”