Sale Sharks have announced the signing of South African International Lood De Jager from the Vodacom Bulls.
De Jager has signed a 3-year contract with the club and will arrive in Manchester ahead of the 19/20 Gallagher Premiership season following the 2019 Rugby World Cup.
The 26-year-old started his career with the Toyota Cheetahs and quickly burst into the spotlight after a stellar first season. The 6ft 9in powerhouse went on to make 40 Super Rugby appearances for the Bloemfontein based franchise and was rewarded for his outstanding form in 2015, winning the prestigious SA Rugby Player of the Year award.
Known in Super Rugby for his superior physical presence, the 125kg second-row was quickly recognised by the Springbok hierarchy as an upcoming talent and was selected for the national side in May 2014, at just 21 years old. The experienced line-out operator has now won a total of 38 caps for South Africa.
In 2016 De Jager made the switch from Bloemfontein to Pretoria, signing for the Vodacom Bulls ahead of the 2017 Super Rugby Season. He has gone on to make 20 appearances for the Bulls, and was awarded the captaincy ahead of the 2019 season.
Steve Diamond Sale Sharks Director of Rugby Said:
“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.”
Commenting on the recent announcement Lood said:
“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 Im looking forward to joining up with the guys in Manchester later in the year.”
Remember this tussle he had with fellow Springbok Eben Etzebeth?
The club also announced that Dorian West has taken a permanent role as forwards coach at the club.
Dorian joined the club on an interim basis in September 2018 and, working alongside Pete Angelsea had an instant impact on the Sharks set piece.
The former World Cup winner has a wealth of experience both as a player and a coach, having overseen the England U20’s forwards after the conclusion of his illustrious playing career, but most notably guiding Northampton Saints to their most successful season of all time in 2015. The Saints, under West and former Sale captain Jim Mallinder, finished top of the Premiership table that year only to lose out on the title to Saracens in the grand final in May.
Commenting on the news Dorian said:
“I am delighted to have signed a permanent deal at Sale, I have really enjoyed the last 8 months with the Club and I can already see progress being made within the team.”
“The ambition and direction being shown by Dimes and supported by our owners Simon and Ged is second to none and to say I am excited for what the future holds, would be an understatement.”
“I would like to thank Steve for giving me such a great opportunity and we are looking forward to finishing the Gallagher Premiership season on a high, and building on the improvements we have made this year to create a formidable pack capable of challenging at the top of the professional game.”
Sharks Director of Rugby Steve Diamond said:
“Earlier in the season it became apparent that we needed some extra bite within our forwards and some organisation within our set piece.”
“Dorian has an abundance of experience within the game and met all the required criteria we were looking for in a coach.”
“Since joining ‘Nobby’ has fitted into the environment at Carrington seamlessly and his hard work and commitment is already showing dividends.”
Members of Exeter Rugby Club on Wednesday night passed a resolution for a percentage of shares in Sandy Park Hotel Limited to be sold to club chairman and chief executive, Tony Rowe OBE.
The sale of the shares mean Mr Rowe now has a majority stake of Sandy Park Hotel Limited moving forward, but that the Rugby Club itself still maintains a sizeable percentage of the shares themselves.
The fee paid for the shares by Mr Rowe not only provides an injection of capital to keep cash flow going, but will also help service substantial debts accrued by Exeter Rugby Club due to the impact of the Covid pandemic in 2020.
Part of the resolution was also that directors shall use their best endeavours to retain at least 26% shareholding in Sandy Park Hotel Limited and also prior to any disposal of shares they will likewise use their best endeavours to enter into a Shareholding Agreement to ensure that in the event of the company at any time selling a part or whole of a minority holding in Sandy Park Hotel Limited, no discount shall be applied to the value or the shares on account of their being from a minority holding.
The club will be making no further comment on the matter.
Ahead of the weekend’s match against Harlequins, Bath Rugby Head of Medical Services Rory Murray has provided a squad injury update.
Alfie Barbeary Alfie had hamstring surgery at the end of September. As he has only just arrived at the club, we are working with him to establish where he is in his recovery. He will return this season.
Lewis Boyce Lewis picked up a knee injury against London Irish in October. He is now back in full training.
Chris Cloete Chris is back running following his broken foot sustained against Wasps in September. He is on course for a return at the end of December.
Jaco Coetzee Jaco had ankle surgery earlier in the season. He will return the backend of December/the beginning of January.
Gabriel Hamer-Webb Gabriel injured his ankle against Newcastle Falcons at the start of November. His aim for return is the end of January.
Ruaridh McConnochie Ruaridh injured his hamstring against Newcastle Falcons at the start of November. It is a similar injury to what Tom de Glanville experienced this season. His aim for return is mid-December.
Quinn Roux Quinn suffered a knee injury against the Barbarians. He requires surgery and will return at the end of February.
Will Stuart Will returned from his knee injury for England against New Zealand. A week later against South Africa, he suffered a dislocated elbow which does not require surgery. He will not return for at least eight weeks.
Sam Underhill Following his shoulder surgery, Sam has been integrated back into full training. He is set to return in mid-December.
Mike Williams Mike has experienced a new knee injury. He is on course for an end-of-January return.