Another Rugby World Cup-winning Springbok goes under the knife ahead of Test season

Dylan Coetzee
Springbok Lood de Jager during a game for South Africa.

Springbok Lood de Jager during a game for South Africa.

Springboks lock Lood de Jager will miss the mid-year Test window after having an operation on his shoulder last week, according to South African newspaper Rapport.

The injury will have him on the sidelines for at least two months, meaning he will not feature in the upcoming Test window and may even miss some of the Rugby Championship.

Bad luck of late

It is an unfortunate setback for De Jager who has had bad luck with injury and illness over the last couple of seasons, including a heart condition that kept him out of the 2023 Rugby World Cup campaign.

The second-row had returned to form with his Japan Rugby League One team Saitama Wild Knights where he was rewarded with a spot in the competition’s Team of the Season.

De Jager is part of a fairly extensive injury list consisting of World Cup winners Steven Kitshoff, Jean Kleyn, Jaden Hendrikse, Kurt-Lee Arendse and Damian Willemse. Jean-Luc du Preez and Henco van Wyk were also confirmed by head coach Rassie Erasmus to have missed out on the training squad through injury.

The list could be lengthened even further with Willie le Roux suffering a head/neck injury during the Bulls’ sensational win over Leinster at Loftus Versfeld in the United Rugby Championship semi-final.

Bulls set to lose another Rugby World Cup-winning Springbok for URC Grand Final against Glasgow Warriors

Bulls unavailable

The Bulls’ victory booked them a home final in the URC, making their players unavailable for the upcoming Springbok Test this weekend against Wales at Twickenham, meaning Erasmus will have to pick his matchday squad from the existing training camp.

That being said, it is likely that the 2023 World Cup-winning second-row pair of Eben Etzebeth and Franco Mostert will continue their partnership against Wales. Erasmus confirmed that the former has a chance to captain the side with Siya Kolisi and other overseas-based players not available for the game as it is out of the Test window.

After the Wales Test, the Boks turn their attention to the highly anticipated series with Ireland that will have been made more intriguing by the Bulls-Leinster semi-final.

Springboks fixtures

Saturday, 22 June: Springboks vs Wales (Twickenham, London)
Saturday, 6 July: Springboks vs Ireland (Loftus Versfeld, Pretoria)
Saturday, 13 July: Springboks vs Ireland (Hollywoodbets Kings Park, Durban)
Saturday, 20 July: Springboks vs Portugal (Toyota Stadium, Bloemfontein)
Saturday, 10 August: Australia vs Springboks (Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane)
Saturday, 17 August: Australia vs Springboks (Optus Stadium, Perth)
Saturday, 31 August: Springboks vs New Zealand (Emirates Airline Park, Johannesburg)
Saturday, 7 September: Springboks v New Zealand (DHL Stadium, Cape Town)
Saturday, 21 September: Argentina v Springboks (venue TBC)
Saturday, 28 September: Springboks v Argentina (Mbombela Stadium, Nelspruit)
Sunday, 10 November: Scotland vs Springboks (Murrayfield, Edinburgh)
Saturday, 16 November: England vs Springboks (Twickenham, London)
Saturday, 23 November: Wales vs Springboks (Principality Stadium, Cardiff)

READ MORE: United Rugby Championship Team of the week: A Springbok in waiting, ‘Huwipulotu’ and the Bulls front-row all feature after semi-finals