Cornal Hendricks’ return to professional rugby has all the elements of a good Hollywood drama with our hero overcoming resounding odds and personal challenges to seize the prize.
Hendricks has not only endured physical tests but undoubtedly had to battle some serious inner demons. He had to knock on many doors for an opportunity to play rugby again.
A heart condition temporarily stunted his career at the beginning of 2016 with rugby clubs understandably unwilling to risk taking him on despite Hendricks’ pleas.
That is until the Bulls signed him for this year’s Super Rugby campaign and this weekend he will play in his first game in the tournament since 2015.
It will be an emotional return for Hendricks but there will be little time for nostalgia as he looks to reward coach Pote Human for throwing him a lifeline.
Human said he believed the hunger that has driven the former Springbok flier to make his comeback would be channelled into a good performance against the South Americans.
“He must bank on his experience from four years ago; he is very hungry and very positive. When I told him he was going to play he was really excited,” Human said.
“He told me: ‘Coach, I won’t let you down’ and I am very happy for him.”
My prediction: Bulls by 6@DarrynJack216
Independent on Saturday