Hendrikse has been named as the impact scrumhalf in Springbok coach Jacques Nienaber’s squad in a match-23 that feature all four scrumhalves in the RWC squad and he said he cannot wait to take the field.

“I’m very excited to represent my country on Sunday,” said Hendrikse.

“This is my first Rugby World Cup match, and it is an honour and privilege to be here, so I just want to go out there and do my best.

“I certainly didn’t think I would be here a few years ago. All the sacrifices, dedication, and hard work in the last few years lead to where I am now, so personally I am really looking forward to this opportunity.”

The Boks face the massive task of trying to defend the title they won in Japan in 2019 in the global spectacle in France, but Hendrikse said simply being part of the squad was something to cherish.

“In 2019 when the Springboks won the Rugby World Cup in Japan, Grant (Williams) and I were at the Rovers College in Durban watching the match, so it is a surreal feeling to be here and to be part of this World Cup.”

Looking ahead at Sunday’s round two encounter against Romania, Hendrikse said it would certainly not be a walk in the park.

“Romania are a very physical team, and they are playing for their country, so they are going to play with passion and pride,” he said. “We are expecting a good battle and we’ll have to be ready for it physically and mentally.”

The Springboks have a travel day on Thursday as they made the trip to the famous French wine region for the encounter at Stade de Bordeaux, which will kick off at 15h00 on Sunday, and the team will have Friday off to rest and recuperate before they wrap up their preparations for the match with their captains run on Saturday.