Ross Roche

By Ross Roche

Senior sports writer

Hendrikse ready for the hard work to start after Bok camp call-up

Hendrikse’s selection was a slight surprise due to him having largely played second fiddle to his teammate Sanele Nohamba this season.

Lions flyhalf Jordan Hendrikse admits that the hard work starts now, after he was included as one of 16 uncapped players in the Springboks’ first alignment camp ahead of the international season, taking place in Cape Town at the start of March.

A 43-man squad was named earlier this week to take part in the first of three alignment camps, and Hendrikse will now get a taste of Bok rugby, following in the footsteps of his brother Jaden who is a World Cup winner with the national team.

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“I am very happy,” said Hendrikse about being picked. “It’s something I have been working towards. I am looking forward to it and I am looking forward to serving this country.

“He (his brother Jaden) congratulated me and is happy for me. But the hard work starts now and it continues from here.

“The goal is to get alignment (with the Boks) and build a foundation (for the season). We are going to go into a lot of meetings in terms of culture and what the Springboks stand for. So I am just happy to be a part of that and hopefully when I get there I can learn as much as I can.”

Slight surprise

Hendrikse’s selection was a slight surprise due to him having largely played second fiddle to his Lions teammate Sanele Nohamba, who has been the preferred flyhalf choice for the union so far this season.

However the former Glenwood product is an undeniable talent, and has clearly piqued the interest of Bok coach Rassie Erasmus who wants to take a closer look at him.

Playing off the bench this season has also added a new dimension to Hendrikse’s game, with him now expected to close out matches, while he has also come on in different positions including at inside centre and at fullback.

“It is very different to starting. The game changes. You have to be a diverse player in terms of playing the role of impact or as a starter. If you start the game you have to start it well, and if you come off the bench you have to have that impact of coming on and finishing a game off,” explained Hendrikse.

“I am here to serve the team. So if they need me to play centre, flyhalf or fullback I will fit in where needed.”

Morne Steyn

Former Bok stalwart Morne Steyn has been at the Lions this season as their kicking consultant, and although Hendrikse has yet to chat to him about his call-up, he says he has had a big impact on his game so far.

“We haven’t had that conversation yet (about the call-up) but it is one we will have. He has helped improve my game this season. In terms of execution, repetition and working hard on the basics he has been great, because at the end of the day you need that kick to be 100%,” said Hendrikse.

“Like the Bulls game (at Loftus). Coming on and having to slot an almost 60 metre kick. Those are the things we practice for. He has helped my game, especially the kicking immensely.”

The Lions team as a whole is also feeling positive as along with Hendrikse, five other players were picked for the alignment camp and that has left a feel good factor in the team.

“The boys see this as an opportunity. I don’t know when last we had a guy invited to a (Bok) camp. It has definitely given us a different energy and vibe to the squad,” admitted Hendrikse.

“It has brought excitement to the squad. The other players are happy for the players picked, but they also see it as an opportunity for themselves.”

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