VIDEO: The one thing you did not know about the Hendrikse brothers
Jaden Hendrikse is not just a year older than brother Jordan, but he is already a ‘fixture’ in the Springbok team.
However, Jordan, one year his junior, is patiently biding his time – waiting for God’s plan to come to fruition.
Having already overcome major surgery in late 2021, 21-year-old Jordan knows all about setbacks.
Besides having a plate and some screws left over from the ankle surgery last year, Hendrikse said his body is in ‘good’ shape.
Removing the plate and screws is not a necessity at this stage.
The two brothers’ paths split after school, Glenwood High.
Jaden stayed in Durban at the Sharks and Jordan – after a stint in Stellenbosch – finished up at the Lions.
Hendrikse said, unlike his older brother Jaden, he did not immediately want to go the professional route and opted to focus on his studies.
While playing in the Young Guns Varsity Cup competition for the University of Stellenbosch, he got called up to a South African Under-20 training camp.
“At this time COVID-19 hit and during the lockdown period I got a call from the Lions coaching staff,” Hendrikse told @rugby365com.
“I’m grateful for the opportunity and still enjoying myself two years later,” he added.
In school the two skilful brothers often played together, terrorising opposing defences.
In April this year, they played against each other in a United Rugby Championship game in Durban – won 37-10 by the Sharks.
Now, with Jaden’s international commitments, they don’t get too many chances to rekindle their ‘backyard rivalry’.
The one thing not many people will know about the brothers is that while they are now in different positions – Jaden at scrumhalf and Jordan at flyhalf – they once competed for the same No.10 jersey.
Before they arrived at Dale Junior Primary School, in Grades Four and Five, at Schornville Primary in King Williams Town, Jordan was a flyhalf and Jaden played inside centre.
“I would play flyhalf for my age group and then go play flyhalf with his [Jaden’s] age group team as well,” Jordan told @rugby365com.
“In primary school [Dale Junior] we both played No.10.
“When we moved to Glenwood [High School], that is when he [Jaden] decided he wanted to become a scrumhalf.
“At that stage, he still had the flair to play at No.9 and No.10.
“However, he preferred scrumhalf.
“In high school, I became a utility and now I can cover No.12 as well.”
The brothers constantly communicate and always motivate each other, but there’s also some healthy brotherly banter.
(The article continues below the @king365ed one-on-one with @JordanHendrikse…)
The Springbok dream is still very much alive for Jordan and he is patiently waiting for his opportunity – having played for SA Under-20 and the BlitzBoks.
“I’ve been taught to be patient and just wait for God’s plan,” he said.
“If I become impatient, that’s when major setbacks will happen.
“I will continue working hard and making progress – be that small steps or being consistent.
“I must also do my best to help the Lions succeed.”
While the Springbok coaching staff were at the Lions earlier in the year, the discussions were not detailed.
He added that working on his kicking game, being accurate in his execution, getting his goal-kicking above 85 percent and game management are among the issues he must focus on to raise his game to international level.
Turning his attention to the Lions, who have had a mixed season – with a 3-0 sweep on their European tour, but no home wins – he said they become a bit ‘overexcited’ when at Ellis Park.
Hendrikse said the Lions may be “overthinking” the game too much when they play at Ellis Park, wanting to speed up the game at altitude.
“In the first quarter we are a bit loose in terms of managing the game,” he told @rugby365com.
“The conditions abroad forced us to manage the game from the outset.
“At home, we just want to ‘go’, become frantic and make costly errors – which resulted in those defeats at home.
“During the break, this past fortnight, we have worked hard on starting well and staying in the game.
“We must eliminate those dips in our games, because good teams make us pay.”
He said they are hoping to show their growth in that department against the Dragons at Ellis Park this coming Sunday.
A year ago Hendrikse became part of the esteemed Roc Nation team – which includes other luminaries such as Aphelele Fassi, Cheslin Kolbe and Siyamthanda Kolisi, to name a few.
He said Roc Nation’s focus is setting up players for life after rugby.
“Their big issue is: ‘You take care of the things on the field, we’ll take care of the things off the field.’
“Building your brand and marketing yourself, the things that take you beyond the game – after rugby, having something to fall back onto.
“They believe it is a process to become great.
“I enjoy their vision and where they want to take sport in South Africa.
“It is amazing how they are marketing the game.”
Place of birth: East London, South Africa
Maties Rugby Club (2019 – 2020)
Lions (2020 – )
BlitzBoks (four appearances)
SA U20 (one game)
Two starts, three matches off the bench – 155 minutes
URC total 17 games
Lions total 31 games