Cornal Hendricks still not available for Bok selection: 'He hasn't got the green light'

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Cornal Hendricks (Gallo)
Cornal Hendricks (Gallo)

Springbok coach Jacques Nienaber has confirmed that Bulls centre Cornal Hendricks remains unavailable for national selection because he has not been given the "green light" by the Bok medical team.

The 34-year-old Hendricks has been one of the star players in Jake White's Bulls machine over the past couple of seasons, and he will start in the midfield in Saturday's United Rugby Championship (URC) final against the Stormers in Cape Town. 

It has been over six years since Hendricks was forced into early retirement as a result of a rare heart condition, but he refused to accept that fate and sought further medical advice and a pathway back to the game he loves.

That chance came ahead of the 2019 Super Rugby season when the Bulls signed the former Bok wing, who has since moved into the centres where his line-running, pace and distribution have combined to make him one of the form players in the country.

Addressing media on Tuesday after naming a 47-man squad for the upcoming international season, however, Nienaber revealed that while Hendricks was very much on the radar, he had not been cleared by the Springbok medical experts.

"Our medical team hasn't got the green light that he is all cleared for us," said Nienaber.

"We can only go on what our medical team and our specialists are saying and the guidance they give us as selectors.

"When we include players within our squad, we look at whether or not they are medically fit. We look at conditioning and his physical fitness.

"Obviously, the Bulls have people advising them, and we have people advising us. The moment they give us the green light on Cornal, then we can look at selecting him.

"I hope it gets sorted out because he's been playing some good rugby, and he is somebody that we definitely have our eye on.

"We track him, we do performance analysis on him, but if the Bulls medical team decided that he was clear and he can play, then our guys must do the same from our side.

"We are guided by them, and the moment we get the green night, he will be up for selection."

The Boks play against Wales in the first of three Tests on July 2 in Pretoria.

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