Nothing goes unnoticed by SA Rugby magazine readers, who have rewarded Cornal Hendricks’ blistering form at the Vodacom Bulls with a Springbok call-up.
Following episode two of The War Room, readers were asked to lock in their preferred wings and starting centres.
The premise is that the Bok starting XV from the 2019 Rugby World Cup final are all unavailable and need to be replaced. Fullback was on the menu in episode one and Frans Steyn was a unanimous decision to replace Willie le Roux.
Hendricks was a favourite in both categories. The Bulls player received almost 18% of the vote to play at centre, replacing either Lukhanyo Am or Damian de Allende, and 10.6% of the vote to play at wing.
Jesse Kriel, currently on duty for Canon Eagles in Japan’s Top League, was top choice at centre, receiving almost 22% of the votes. Hendricks narrowly missed out on pairing with the 46-Test Bok at centre, edged by Montpellier’s Jan Serfontein (18.03%) as readers rewarded size and experience, reuniting South Africa’s 200kg 2017 midfield combo.
In-form Harlequins player Andre Esterhuizen was also in the running, with just over 1,000 votes for centre going his way.
Meanwhile, on the wing, Sharks speedster Sbu Nkosi was the overwhelming favourite, with 38.6% of the vote. And here Hendricks secured a starting berth, finishing with 10.6% of the vote for second place ahead of Seabelo Senatla (8.1%).
To date, the alternative Bok XV, selected by the readers, is as follows:
15 Frans Steyn, 14 Sbu Nkosi, 13 Jesse Kriel, 12 Jan Serfontein, 11 Cornal Hendricks.
Photo: Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images