Cape Town – New Bulls signing Cornal Hendricks says he has no fear about returning to professional rugby after a heart condition that threatened to end his career.
The 30-year-old wing has not played professional rugby since he represented the Cheetahs in 2015 when he received the news that he had a heart defect.
On the orders of medical professionals, Hendricks was forced to retire from rugby.
He would not give up, though, and continued to seek medical advice in the hope that he could return to rugby at the top level.
He hoped that had happened when he joined Toulon on a trial in late 2016, but the French club opted against signing the Springbok with fears over his medical condition believed to be the main reason.
Now, though, Hendricks has a home at Loftus with the Bulls having taken the plunge to sign him.
There are obvious concerns over Hendricks’s wellbeing, but he is adamant that there is nothing to worry about.
“I respect everybody’s opinion but I have been cleared by two of the top specialists in the world,” he said at a Bulls press conference on Thursday.
“I have been playing for three years now, not at the highest level but at different tournament and Sevens events and things like that.
“I’m not scared. I’m looking forward to it and I feel like I’m five years younger.”
Hendricks, who has 12 Test caps to his name, added that playing in the green and gold again would always be in the back of his mind.