SA Rugby is pulling out all the stops to ensure that Cornal Hendricks represents the Springboks once again, Bulls head coach Jake White has confirmed.
Hendricks missed three years of professional rugby as well as contracts with Toulon and the Stormers after being diagnosed with a serious heart condition. His playing career was thought to be over but the former sevens and Springbok star but the 33-year-old has revived his career and reinvented himself as a midfielder.
He was able to return to professional rugby after sourcing two independent medical opinions which managed to convince the Bulls that he was able to return safely.
His stellar form with the Bulls put Hendricks back into the running for a Springbok jersey however he was omitted from the squad for the upcoming Lions Series. But Springboks' director of rugby Rassie Erasmus stated that Hendricks was not included in the squad for the British and Irish Lions as he had not received clearance from SA Rugby's medical committee.
White has confirmed that discussions between SA Rugby and Hendricks are ongoing.
"Let me just say. I know there's been a lot of speculation and I want to give you my word on this: (SA Rugby CEO) Jurie Roux, Rassie and Jacques Nienaber are working really hard with the union and the player to find the best way to get him involved in the national setup," said White.
"I'm really comfortable with the process. We have a really good relationship with SA Rugby. (Bulls chief) Edgar Rathbone is working really hard to get Bulls players into the national setup.
"If I were selfish, I wouldn't be pushing for Cornal's inclusion because then I lose him. But that's not what we do here. We're here to produce Springboks, guys that play at the highest level. Rassie and co have said this publicly. Cornal is in their plans, they just have to sort out the details and find a solution."