Junior Springbok scrumhalf Jaden Hendrikse has been nominated as one of four players for the World Rugby U20 Championship Breakthrough Player of the Tournament award after a strong contribution to the team’s performance in the international showpiece in Rosario.
Hendrikse will go head-to-head with French flyhalf Louis Carbonel, Argentina centre Juan Pablo Castro and Australian flanker Fraser McReight for the award.
Hendrikse – who turned 19 years-old in March – made his debut for the Junior Springboks in the U20 International Series in the Western Cape in April, and he has been a key figure in the squad since.
He is a product of SA Rugby’s Elite Player Development programme, with his selection for the Junior Springbok squad following appearances in the U17 SA Rugby Interprovincial Sevens tournament, U18 SA Rugby Craven Week and the SA Schools team in the AON U18 International Series.
His cool head and calm presence on the field has earned him a starting berth in all four of the team’s World Rugby U20 Championship matches up to now. This skill combined with his good vision, solid goal-kicking and ability to capitalise on try-scoring opportunities has seen him score two tries, seven conversions and four penalty goals for a contribution of 36 points in the competition.
The public can vote for Hendrikse through World Rugby’s Facebook page.
The Breakthrough Player of the Tournament will be announced after the World Rugby U20 Championship final on Saturday, 22 June.
The Junior Springboks will face hosts, Argentina, in the bronze playoff at 18h00 (SA Time) on Saturday, which will be followed by the final between France and Australia at 20h30 (SA Time).