Jordan Hendrikse to run out at flyhalf in Springboks’ one-off Test against Wales

Lions' flyhalf Jordan Hendrikse will make his Springboks’ debut at flyhalf against Wales on Saturday. Picture: Phill Magakoe / AFP

Lions' flyhalf Jordan Hendrikse will make his Springboks’ debut at flyhalf against Wales on Saturday. Picture: Phill Magakoe / AFP

Published Jun 18, 2024


While the Springboks’ match-day squad for the Test against Wales at Twickenham will feature four new faces, the team boast a healthy dose of experienced campaigners.

Rugby World Cup-winning prop Vincent Koch will earn his 50th Test cap and Pieter-Steph du Toit will captain the Springboks on Saturday (kickoff 3pm) in their first international since lifting the Webb-Ellis Cup in France in October 2023.

Wing Edwill van der Merwe and flyhalf Jordan Hendrikse are the two uncapped players named in run-on team, while lock Ben-Jason Dixon and utility back Sacha Feinberg-Mngomezulu are the two new faces on the replacements bench.

Handrikse got the nod ahead of Stormers star Manie Libbok and the Sharks’ European hero Siya Masuku.

Coach Rassie Erasmus welcomed back experienced hooker Malcolm Marx, who suffering a knee injury at training which ruled him out the 2023 World Cup in France.

Thirty players will travel to London on Wednesday night, with those outside of the match-day squad being Libbok (flyhalf), RG Snyman (lock) – both RWC winners – Neethling Fouche (prop), Phepsi Buthelezi (loose forward), Ethan Hooker (centre), Quan Horn (fullback), and Andre-Hugo Venter (hooker).

Erasmus opted for a five-three split in favour of the forwards on the replacements bench, which includes four Rugby World Cup winners – Bongi Mbonambi, Frans Malherbe, Grant Williams, and Damian de Allende respectively.

“This is an exciting playing squad and travelling group, and we are looking forward to seeing how the uncapped players step up at top international level and how we execute what we’ve been working on at training in the last few days and at the alignment camps,” said Erasmus.

“The likes of Edwill, Jordan, Ben-Jason, and Sacha have really impressed us at training, and we believe they have what it takes to make their presence felt against a quality team such as Wales.

“They will be surrounded by several experienced campaigners – some of whom are Rugby World Cup winners - so they will have enough guidance on the field to fulfil their roles even when the pressure is on.

“It is equally exciting for us to see players such as Aphelele (Fassi), Evan (Roos), Ntuthuko (Mchunu), and Salmaan (Moerat) back in the green in gold after earning their stripes in the last few seasons.”

Erasmus congratulated Du Toit on the Bok captaincy, saying it was not only well deserved, but also personal for the player since the first and only time he led the team was against Wales in Washington in 2018 – a Test the Boks lost 22-20.

“Pieter-Steph has been a key figure in our system for several years now and he’s a player who leads by example on the field,” said Erasmus.

“We have a strong core of senior players in this group, and we had a few options for captain, but we feel Pieter-Steph will be the right man to lead the team this week.

“He has captained the Springboks only once before and that was against Wales in 2018, and after that result, we believe it will make this match even more personal for him. Over and above that, he has immense respect from his team-mates and the coaches, and we know he will accept this responsibility with great pride.”

Springbok for Wales at Twickenham:

15 Aphelele Fassi, 14 Edwill van der Merwe, 13 Jesse Kriel, 12 Andre Esterhuizen, 11 Makazole Mapimpi, 10 Jordan Hendrikse, 9 Faf de Klerk, 8 Evan Roos, 7 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 6 Kwagga Smith, 5 Franco Mostert, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Vincent Koch, 2 Malcolm Marx, 1 Ox Nche.

Replacements: 16 Bongi Mbonambi, 17 Ntuthuko Mchunu, 18 Frans Malherbe, 19 Salmaan Moerat, 20 Ben-Jason Dixon, 21 Grant Williams, 22 Sacha Feinberg-Mngomezulu, 23 Damian de Allende.