Hendricks: I never gave up

Springbok winger Cornal Hendricks says he is in a good mental and physical space as he gets set to begin a stint with French club Toulon.

It appeared that Hendricks's career had come to a premature end last year when he was ruled out of action as a mysterious heart condition was assessed.

However, he has finally been cleared to play, and signed on with Toulon as a medical joker for the 2016-17 season.

'I have got a second chance and I’m excited to be back on the field,' he told KweséSports. 'It’s going to be a great experience to go to Europe, to go to Toulon, one of the biggest clubs in France…

'I’ve always known that there is nothing wrong with me, so I’m in good space mentally, and all I want to do is to gain some confidence. I want to get my hands on a rugby ball. I want to be in a team environment again and to laugh with teammates and be part of that camaraderie.'

Hendricks has featured on 12 occasions for the Boks, and said he still had hopes of adding to this tally.

'I still want to play for the Boks. I won’t hesitate to play for my country if they want me back. It’s always special to represent your country and your people.'

Despite a lengthy period out of the game, Hendricks said he never gave up hope of making a comeback

'It was a rough year for me. It was difficult to be out of rugby. I never gave up, and I always believed I would be able to return to the field of play.'

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Photo: Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images

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Craig Lewis