Hendrikse will learn to tackle at seven

Coach Ricardo Loubscher has backed Jordan Hendrikse to return to the Lions from his time with the Blitzboks as a more versatile player.

Hendrikse received a surprise call-up to the Springbok Sevens squad for the penultimate World Series tournament of this season, the reasoning being that the Blitzboks are struggling for depth at flyhalf as Justin Geduld, Selvyn Davids and Lubabalo Dobela is unavailable due to injury.

The 20 year old his attacking prowess and quick decision-making have been hallmarks of his performances this season, but it’s the defensive demands of the sevens format that Loubscher says will further test Hendrikse, who boasted a 92 per cent tackle completion rate in the Vodacom United Rugby Championship.

“It’s always nice to represent your country,” said the Lions assistant coach. “It’s especially special when it comes to the Springboks or the Blitzboks. It’s a great opportunity for Jordan.

“Off the pitch, just being exposed to the national culture at seven will be great for him.

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“It’s an environment where you can learn a lot. Also, we obviously have a lot of hope that Jordan will bring those experiences and learnings back and let them filter into his own game and our setup.

“Being exposed to the format is definitely a plus for any player,” added Loubscher, who also represented the Blitzboks between 1999 and 2001, as well as four Test caps for the Springboks.

“It really broadens your skill base in general. One of the most important things you learn is beating a defender in a one-on-one situation. If you turn it around, you also have to quickly learn to be a solid one-on-one tackler. You have to get the shot right the first time.

“These are definitely skills that you can transfer back to the game at 15 again.”

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Charles P. Patton