Ross Roche
Senior sports writer
3 minute read
25 May 2022
3:51 pm

Jordan Hendrikse opens up about call-up to Blitzboks squad

Ross Roche

“Adapting and understanding is the main focus for me and to adjust as quickly as possible."

Jordan Hendrikse of the Lions was a surprise call-up to the Blitzboks squad this week. Picture: Johan Pretorius/Gallo Images

Lions flyhalf Jordan Hendrikse is excited for his first taste of international action for the Blitzboks when he makes his South African Sevens debut at the London Sevens this weekend.

Former Baby Bok Hendrikse was a surprise call-up to Neil Powell’s struggling side after another raft of injuries depleted them after a disastrous Toulouse Sevens leg.

Hendrikse had just helped the Lions pick up an away win over the Dragons in Wales in their final United Rugby Championship clash when he received the SOS from Powell and jumped at the opportunity to represent his country again.

“My desire is always to represent my country, so I’m just excited and proud to be with the Blitzboks,” said Hendrikse.

“I was notified on our (Lions) travelling day, so I just made the trip from Wales to London the next day and met them (the Blitzboks) at the hotel.”

ALSO READ: URC quarterfinals: Dates and kickoff times confirmed

Hendrikse now has the tough task of settling into a new team and trying to get up to speed with their systems and game plans in just a week and hopefully make a positive impact on the side to try and turn their recent poor form around.

“It’s definitely a challenge in terms of mindset and physically, to get your body ready for high intensity, and to make the switch from 15s to 7s. 

“Adapting and understanding is the main focus for me and to adjust as quickly as possible. Likewise to buy into the system.

“Personally I would love to achieve clarity on my role and also to grow and learn from this experience, because it can only make you better. I also want to help the team bounce back and enjoy playing with the boys.”

ALSO READ: OPINION: Blitzboks must bounce back to send Powell off on positive note

Looking at the London event, the Blitzboks find themselves in a tricky pool, as they come up against teams that have beaten them recently. They take on Ireland, who they lost to for the first time in the last event and went on to make the final, Argentina, who beat them in the fifth place semifinal in Singapore, and Kenya.

Hendrikse will now look to settle in as quickly as possible. “I’m familiar with most of the players, and they are all willing to assist with my transition,” said Hendrikse.

“We are one team so I definitely believe we can do that (go on a winning run). Of course I will have to play my part individually and just back the system.”

Whether this weekend will be a once off or if he will continue with the Blitzboks looking onto the final event in Los Angeles in August and World Cup in Cape Town in September is still up in the air.

“Honestly I don’t know and my main focus is this weekend in London. So my focus is only on doing the best I can for the team this weekend and then we will see what happens after that,” said Hendrikse.

Blitzboks schedule for Saturday

10.54am: Argentina

1.22pm: Ireland

5.08pm Kenya