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Rugby | SA Rugby

Bulls decide not to contract Cornal

Springbok Cornal Hendricks' future is in the balance after the Vodacom Bulls decided not to contract him for this year’s Vodacom Super Rugby competition.

Hendricks was a surprise arrival at Loftus Versfeld before the start of the season as he looked to restart his career after it seemed to have ended in 2016 when he was diagnosed with a heart ailment.

The winger, who played for the Springbok Sevens side before moving up and donned the Green and Gold 12 times, has spent much of his time off coaching and helping youngsters through the foundation he started, and has given a lot back to his community.

But his dream was to get back onto the rugby field and to play again.

On Wednesday the Bulls confirmed that on medical advice they had decided not to contract Hendricks for the upcoming season.

This is the second setback on Hendricks’ path back to the game, after a similar stint at French club Toulon ended in disappointment when they also decided not to contract him on medical advice.

Hendrick was diagnosed with the heart ailment, which stopped him from playing again and ended his contract with Western Province and the Springboks at the time.

But a second medical opinion cleared him to play, opening up hope for the winger that he would be able to get back onto the field.

It seems that the rugby fraternity are wary of taking the risk despite the second medical opinion, and while both Toulon and the Bulls put Hendricks through a battery of tests of their own, they decided not to go ahead in the end.

Bulls High Performance Manager Xander Janse van Rensburg confirmed to Supersport.com that they had decided not to contract Hendricks.

“We are very disappointed with the feedback that we got as we would have loved to have Cornal here. If things change in the future then we will have another look at our options, especially if new medical information comes to light,” Janse van Rensburg said.

“But the medical advice we received and advice from our medical team was that we should not contract him for the coming season.”

Another issue for Hendricks was to find the necessary playing insurance, and it is believed that this contributed as well to the decision, especially if something were to go wrong while he was on the field.

Recently Hendricks told Sport24 that he felt he was perfectly fine to play.

“I believed strongly that there was nothing wrong with me,” Hendricks told Sport24.

“I’ve been cleared to play rugby and there is nothing to worry about.”

“I’m a rugby player and I’ve been fit all of my life, so to find out there was something wrong with me was a shock. It wasn’t easy for me,” he said.

“It was a bad year, but now I’ve got a second chance.”

It is unclear what options Hendricks now has or if he will be able to play again.


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