Hendriks was a big, powerful, no nonsense winger who preferred utilising the Maori side-step to dancing his way through opposing backlines. The long-time servant of Transvaal rugby may have only scored two tries in the Green and Gold, but his first is widely considered as one of the greatest and most significant in Springbok history.
In the opening match of the 1995 World Cup against Australia at Newlands, the often labelled ‘one-dimensional’ Hendriks came up against goose-stepping Wallaby legend David Campese. Hendriks got the ball and stepped off his right foot, leaving Campese for dead as he went over in the corner. His fist-pumping salute as rounded Campese is one of the most memorable moments of that World Cup and it gave South Africans the first glimmer of hope that their team could go on to win the World Cup on home soil.
The selection of Hendriks will come as a surprise to many. Indeed, a 14 Test career with only two tries is hardly the stuff of legend. That try against Australia, however, will live in the hearts of Springbok fans forever and sees him included in our list of top Boks.
Unfortunately, Hendriks’ World Cup came to an abrupt end a fortnight later following the infamous Battle of Boet Erasmus against Canada. Hendriks was not one of the three players ejected from the match after an all-out scuffle between the sides, but was later handed a 90-day suspension for his part in the brawl – the longest in World Cup history.
Hendriks’ 14-Test career came full circle when he made his final international appearance against the All Blacks at Ellis Park on August 31, 1996 – the very team and venue where he made his South African debut five years earlier.
Records/Honours:SA Young Player of the Year nominee, 1991Member of the World Cup winning Springbok squad, 1995