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Sharks sign Jordan Hendrikse from Lions

By Josh Raisey
Jordan Hendrikse of Emirates Lions before the United Rugby Championship match between Connacht and Emirates Lions at The Sportsground in Galway. (Photo By Seb Daly/Sportsfile via Getty Images)

The Sharks have confirmed the signing of fly-half Jordan Hendrikse from the Lions ahead of next season.


The 22-year-old will team up with his brother, World Cup-winning Springbok Jaden, at Kings Park Stadium for the 2024/25 season.

Despite being included in Rassie Erasmus’ South Africa squad recently for their alignment camp, the fly-hlaf has spent this season behind Sanele Nohamba in the pecking order at the Lions. Nohamba was also included in the Springboks squad.

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Lions forwards coach Barend Pieterse talks about the Sharks battle

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Lions forwards coach Barend Pieterse talks about the Sharks battle

Though Hendrikse has not been capped by South Africa yet, he has represented the Blitzboks on the sevens circuit.

The No10 will be leaving a Lions side that are currently say in eleventh place in the United Rugby Championship for a Sharks side that are still rooted to the foot of the table.

To add extra intrigue to this move, the two sides face each other this Saturday at Ellis Park in a URC South African derby.



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Poorfour 10 hours ago
The AI advantage: How the next two Rugby World Cups will be won

AI models are really just larger and less transparent variants of the statistical models that have been in use since Moneyball was invented. And a big difference between the Icahn centre’s results and AI today is that ChatGPT-like Large Language Models can explain (to some degree) how they reached their conclusions. In terms of what impact they will have, I suspect it will have two primary impacts: 1) It will place a premium on coaching creativity 2) It will lead to more selections that baffle fans and pundits. Analysts will be able to run the models both ways: they will see their own team’s and players’ weaknesses and strengths as well as the opposition’s. So they will have a good idea at what the other team will be targeting and the decisive difference may well be which coaches are smart enough to think of a gameplan that the other side didn’t identify and prepare for. For players, it places a premium on three key things: 1) Having a relatively complete game with no major weaknesses (or the dedication to work on eliminating them) 2) Having the tactical flexibility to play a different game every week 3) Having a point of difference that is so compelling that there isn’t a defence for it. (3) is relatively rare even among pro players. There have been only a handful of players over the years where you knew what they were going to do and the problem was stopping it - Lomu would be the classic example. And even when someone does have that, it’s hard to sustain. Billy Vunipola in his prime was very hard to stop, but fell away quite badly when the toll on his body began to accumulate. So coaches will look for (1) - a lack of exploitable weaknesses - and (2) - the ability to exploit others’ weaknesses - ahead of hoping for (3), at least for the majority of the pack. Which is likely to mean that, as with the original Moneyball, competent, unshowy players who do the stuff that wins matches will win out over outrageous talents who can’t adapt to cover their own weaknesses. Which will leave a lot of people on the sidelines sputtering over the non-inclusion of players whose highlights reels are spectacular, but whose lowlight reels have been uncovered by AI… at least until the point where every fan has access to a sporting analysis AI.

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