Ross Roche

By Ross Roche

Senior sports writer

Hendrikse keen to spark good Bok partnership with Willemse

Cobus Reinach is also back for the Boks this week and should get time on the field from off the bench.

Springbok scrumhalf Jaden Hendrikse is hoping to spark a good partnership with Damian Willemse when the two cover the halfback roles for the Boks against the Wallabies in the Rugby Championship this weekend.

It is the first time that the two will be starting together in the nine and 10 roles, and they will need to gain a good understanding of each other to be successful.

Hendrikse admits that is an important part of their preparation this week as they look to ready themselves for the Aussie challenge on Saturday.

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“With me and Gazza (Willemse) it is just about building a good relationship and understanding each other during the week,” explained Hendrikse.

“So we are just sitting around each other and speaking, not just about rugby, but also getting to know each other. So that’s the main thing between him and me this week.

“Also just want to be on the same page and know what we have to do in those situations is important.”

Despite the Boks losing their second game in a row over the past weekend, Hendrikse admitted that the team was still confident and eager to make amends.

“The mood in the team is good. Everyone is working hard on the details, we are super excited for this weekend and we can’t wait for Saturday. Now it is just about going out there and performing and taking our opportunities if we get them,” said Hendrikse.

Reinach returns

Cobus Reinch
Cobus Reinach will play for the Boks for the first time this season on Saturday. Picture: Steve Haag/Gallo Images

Coach Jacques Nienaber was also asked about the inclusion of Cobus Reinach on the bench as cover for Hendrikse, with this being his first international game of the season after recovering from injury.

“We are fortunate to have some quality nines in the squad. Cobus has been injured and I think a lot of countries are sitting with the same problem that we have. There is no club rugby at the moment, so when we get players back from injury they haven’t played a lot of rugby,” said Nienaber.

“But Cobus has been brilliant since joining up with us, and I would love to see him bring his x-factor when he comes on to the pitch because he’s got a lot of it.”