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The Sharkie who got away! He’s young, fit, strong and mobile, he’s one of three contenders for the 2012 International Rugby Board’s Junior World Player of the Year and tonight has the chance to lift the IRB Junior World Championship trophy with his fellow Baby Boks in Cape Town.
Bluff-born loose forward, Shaun Adendorff, 20, was head-hunted by current Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer to join the Blue Bulls in 2010 after Meyer saw him play at Academy Week in Vryheid.
The Glenwood old boy joined the Bulls after they tabled a offer that was too good to resist and is now studying towards a Sport Science degree at the University of Pretoria.
Hard work and determination were the cornerstones of Shaun’s success, his family said.
Dad Ian, who coached him, said it was amazing to watch Shaun playing on this stage.
“I tell him when we talk that you must ‘be number one’, to be in the top five is not good enough,” he said.
His mother, Wilmer, a former Lady Springbok herself, said Shaun was five when he first started playing rugby and would make other boys cry with his robust tackles when he represented the Harlequins Rugby Club at junior level.
“He has always been very strong. I had to stand on the touchline and watch as other parents would get annoyed watching him tackle their kids very hard,” she said.
Ian represented Namibia as an 18-year-old, but a knee injury prematurely ended his career. Shaun’s older brother, Ian Junior, also represented SA at Sevens level, before a knee injury three years ago halted his progress in the sport.
Wilmer is hoping Shaun will be apart of the Springbok team in the 2015 World Cup.
Meanwhile, Baby Bok loose-forward and Sharks player Khaya Majola’s mother, Veliswa, was in tears yesterday when the Daily News contacted her. She never expected Khaya to be so successful in rugby, as he grew up a passionate tennis player – a sport he adopted from his now deceased father, Vuyani.
It was only when he was 12 that Khaya swopped the tennis racket for six-studded rugby boots. “We used to warn him that he would get injured playing rugby, as he wasn’t big, but he wouldn’t listen,” she said.
Veliswa said she wished Khaya would one day be celebrated like Bryan Habana.
Other KZN boys who will be in the team include Sharks players Braam Steyn, Pieter Steph du Toit, Franco Marais, Nicolaas van Dyk, Allan Dell and Western Province prop Oliver Kebble – who is the son of former Sharks player Guy Kebble, and was born in Durban.
Watch the Junior Boks take on New Zealand on Supersport 1 at 6.30pm tonight.