Sharks scrumhalf Jaden Hendrikse has earned a maiden call-up to the Springbok squad for the third Test against the British & Irish Lions amid injury doubts around Faf de Klerk.
Imcumbent Bok scrumhalf De Klerk, who started both of the two Tests against the Lions, pulled up with a leg muscle injury after making a clearance kick in the second half of the second Test on Saturday.
The 29-year-old tried to battle on, but was shortly afterwards replaced by Herschel Jantjies.
Sharks chief executive Eduard Coetzee confirmed on social media on Sunday evening that Hendrikse has been called up to the Springbok squad ahead of the decisive third Test this coming Saturday.
The 21-year-old has been one of the form scrumhalves in the domestic competitions and was one of the standout players in the Sharks’ two matches against the British & Irish Lions a few weeks ago.
Hendrikse had an eventful outing in the second match against the Lions, scoring a try in the first half, but being red-carded in the second half for elbowing Liam Williams. He was subsequently handed a three-match ban, reduced from six weeks, but has served that time through Currie Cup games against the Pumas, Bulls and Cheetahs.
This means that should De Klerk be unavailable for selection for Saturday’s Test, Hendrikse would be available to make a potential Springbok debut.
The Springboks could also look to Cobus Reinach. The 31-year-old Montpellier scrumhalf impressed the Springbok coaches when he started in the Test against Georgia and in the South Africa A game against the Bulls.
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