Springbok scrumhalf Jaden Hendrikse on valuable lessons from Faf de Klerk and Cobus Reinach
Springbok scrumhalf Jaden Hendrikse believes advice shared with him by experienced scrumhalves Faf de Klerk and Cobus Reinach, together with Grant Williams, was of great value in his debut Rugby World Cup in France.
The 23-year-old Breidbach-born Hendrikse, who was one of the four South Africa scrumhalves picked for the global showpiece, received his first Rugby World Cup medal after the Springboks defended the title they won in Japan in 2019.
He featured in two of the eight Bok matches against Romania and Tonga over the lengthy campaign.
Hendrikse achieved the feat just two years after his international debut against Argentina in the Rugby Championship.
Though he did not get the game time under his belt he would have hoped for, Hendrikse, who has 15 caps in the green and gold, said he enjoyed his time in France.
Hendrikse said it was a good learning curve for him rubbing shoulders in training with De Klerk (55 caps) and Reinach (32), who were part of the Bok team that won the 2019 edition.
“Faf, Cobus and Grant (Williams) had a positive influence on my first World Cup,” Hendrikse said while on the Springbok Trophy Tour parade in East London on Sunday.
“I learnt a lot from them because they all brought different elements into the team.
“Obviously, I did not play much but when I got selected they made sure I stayed calm because in World Cup situations you get big crowds which can bring a lot of pressure.
“All in all, it was a great experience for me.”
After he had been the first choice for most of the Boks’ games in 2022 before his injury woes, there is no doubt Hendrikse will be pushing to be the number one halfback come the Rugby World Cup in 2027.
He is likely to be part of the senior group as two-time world champions Reinach and De Klerk could potentially hang up their boots between now and 2027.
Reinach would be 37 and De Klerk 36 in 2027.
“I can’t think that far. Anything might happen, there might be injuries,” Hendrikse said.
“I will have to take it season by season and focus on getting better from now until then because there will always be new players in your position coming along before the next World Cup.”
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