Cell C Sharks scrum-half Jaden Hendrikse has been included on the EPCR Player of the Year longlist after crossing for three tries in an impressive Heineken Champions Cup pool stage campaign.

The 22-year-old, who is playing in EPCR competitions for the first time along with many of his Cell C Sharks teammates, started each of his side’s four games as they finished third in Pool A.

After helping the Durban-based outfit defeat Harlequins and Union Bordeaux-Bègles in the opening two rounds, Hendrikse produced his most eye-catching display at home to the TOP 14 club in Round 3.

The South Africa international showcased his try-scoring talents as he darted over for two opportunistic efforts inside the first 25 minutes to kick-start his team’s 32-3 triumph.

Hendrikse went over again at Harlequins in Round 4 as he finished superbly in the corner to further boost his growing reputation, and he is set to feature prominently in the Round of 16 as Cell C Sharks host Munster Rugby in a colossal encounter on April 1.


Grégory ALLDRITT (Stade Rochelais)
Gavin COOMBES (Munster Rugby)
Caelan DORIS (Leinster Rugby)
Elliot DALY (Saracens)
Antoine DUPONT (Stade Toulousain)
Eben ETZEBETH (Cell C Sharks)
Jaden HENDRIKSE (Cell C Sharks)
Siya KOLISI (Cell C Sharks)
Makazole MAPIMPI (Cell C Sharks)
Julien MARCHAND (Stade Toulousain)
Emmanuel MEAFOU (Stade Toulousain)
Jamie OSBORNE (Leinster Rugby)
Garry RINGROSE (Leinster Rugby)
Justin TIPURIC (Ospreys)
Josh VAN DER FLIER (Leinster Rugby)  

Judging Panel – Bryan Habana (two-time Heineken Champions Cup winner), Sarah Hunter (former England captain), Elma Smit (sports presenter and producer), Andy Goode (two-time Heineken Cup winner), Dimitri Yachvili (France Télévisions and Challenge Cup winner)  

Roll of Honour – 2022: Josh van der Flier (Leinster Rugby) ; 2021: Antoine Dupont (Stade Toulousain) ; 2020: Sam Simmonds (Exeter Chiefs); 2019: Alex Goode (Saracens); 2018: Leone Nakarawa (Racing 92); 2017: Owen Farrell (Saracens); 2016: Maro Itoje (Saracens); 2015: Nick Abendanon (ASM Clermont Auvergne); 2014: Steffon Armitage (RC Toulon); 2013: Jonny Wilkinson (RC Toulon); 2012: Rob Kearney (Leinster Rugby); 2011: Sean O’Brien (Leinster Rugby); 2010: Ronan O’Gara (Munster Rugby – best player of first 15 years of European professional club competitions)