Jaden Hendrikse is ‘determined’ to make the most of Springbok World Cup call-up

Jaden Henrikse during Springbok traning Jaden Hendrikse is looking to enjoy his time with the Springboks and help them retain the World Cup title. Photo: Armand Hough.

There were a number of twitchy Springboks players ahead of last week’s World Cup squad announcement and Sharks scrumhalf Jaden Hendrikse admits he was one of them.

Hendrikse dislocated his collar bone playing for the Sharks in April and has not played a game since but he was picked as one of four scrumhalves for France and his comeback match is this Saturday against Wales in Cardiff.

Hendrikse, Siya Kolisi, and prop Ox Nche are three players returning to action after injury in this penultimate game for the Boks before next month’s World Cup.

“I was very nervous before the announcement,” the 23-year-old said. “I had not played for a long time. I am so grateful I made it and I am determined to make the most of it and to enjoy every minute of the World Cup.”

Bok bosses Rassie Erasmus and Jacques Nienaber know what they have in the razor-sharp scrumhalf.

Last year, Hendrikse’s breakthrough year, he featured in 12 of the Boks’ 13 matches. He started in seven of them to finish as the No 1-ranked scrumhalf in the country, although Faf de Klerk might argue that point.

Nienaber was delighted to call up Hendrikse: “Jaden was unfortunate not to play in the last few weeks (he was fit three weeks ago but suffered the loss of his father). He is a top-class player and he’s been training hard, so we are pleased that he’ll finally get his chance this weekend. Unlike Siya and Ox, he’s been training fully with us for weeks, so it’s a matter of him getting back into game mode.”

Hendrikse’s Sharks teammate Grant Williams will be covering him from the bench and on the eve of the match, Williams will also have the job of keeping Hendrikse calm.

“Grant and I are roommates and we are good friends,” Hendrikse said. “We have a good understanding. We are friends off the field and super competitive on it. It keeps each other sharp.”

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