Former Junior Springbok flank Shaun Adendorff says he wants to leave a legacy at the Northampton Saints that would make his kids proud.
Adendorff – who was an integral part of the Junior Springbok side that won the 2012 U20 World Championship in South Africa – recently joined the Saints from ProD2 side Aurillac.
The 28-year-old loose forward has been through the highs and lows of a professional career as he narrowly missed out on being named Junior World Player of the Year in 2012, but then struggled for consistent game time with two stints at the Vodacom Bulls split by a short move to Boland. He also featured on the sevens scene for the Blitzboks in 2014 and 2015.
However, after an impressive two seasons in France, Adendorff earned a contract with the Saints and is determined to make it count.
‘It’s any young player’s dream to win a Junior World Cup and it’s definitely a big highlight of my career so far,’ Adendorff told the Saints website.
‘My career was definitely going uphill there but then certain circumstances and certain people’s opinions didn’t go my way, but that’s rugby and that’s life. It doesn’t always go your way, and I’ve definitely had to fight my whole career to get where I am now.
‘I want my kids to be able to talk about me like that and I have to do as much as I can. No one wants to say “My dad was just a rugby player” and not be able to mention anything else about him. I want to do as much as I can for Saints so my kids will say, “Wow, my dad was an amazing rugby player” and they will follow in my footsteps.’
— Jared Wright (@jaredwright17) September 2, 2019
Adendorff added that his move to the French second division allowed him to add a new dynamic to his game and become a more complete player as a result.
‘When I entered the professional set-up in South Africa, I went from playing No 8 for many years at school to going to the Bulls, where bigger was better. I had to change my game, I played at 6 and I did really well – but then the rest of my career in South Africa, I was just labelled as a fetcher.
‘In ProD2 and with the way the French people play, I felt I would be better suited at 8 and it would help my career much more. I went back to 8 and adapted very quickly. Whereas in South Africa I was more of a defensive player, in France I’ve taken my defensive game and added a whole new range of attacking to it.
‘I’ve changed the way I play; I’m a different player to what I was in South Africa and I’m also in a different weight class, as most players are when they move to France.’
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