Durban - Sharks centre Paul Jordaan hopes to return to Super Rugby “better than ever” following a miraculous recovery from a serious hip injury.
The 24-year-old went through a nightmare time on the sidelines as he suffered a broken and dislocated hip in 2014. During his 17-month recovery process, he was told that he had a 50-50 chance of playing rugby again.
However, the speedster managed a successful recovery as he returned to action for the Sharks during the 2015 Currie Cup. He also featured for the Durban side during their pre-season tour to France, where they defeated Toulon and Toulouse.
Jordaan feels confident ahead of his return to Super Rugby.
“Injuries are never nice. I suffered a broken hip, which was also dislocated. It’s very rare in rugby… usually you suffer that sort of injury in a car accident,” Jordaan told MyPlayers. “I was told that there was a chance that I’d never play rugby again. It was really a tough time for me.
“However, I’m lucky to have a strong support base around me. I put in the hard work during my recovery and managed some game time during last year’s Currie Cup. I wasn’t at my best then, but after a good pre-season, I feel great and confident ahead of Super Rugby.
“Some say you will never be at your best after a serious injury, but I’m hoping to prove that statement wrong. I want to come back stronger and better than I’ve ever been before.”
Jordaan added that the Sharks’ tour to France has put the team in a good space, especially after a difficult season in 2015 when they failed to qualify for the playoffs in the Vodacom Cup, Currie Cup and Super Rugby.
“The players were very disappointed with last year’s results, but we are determined to get the desired success this season. The Sharks are a major brand and we want to prove that we are one of the best teams in every competition we compete in,” said Jordaan.
“We have lost some great players after 2015, but we have the talent and experience in the squad to achieve success. The tour to France helped the guys to gel as we did a lot of team-building activities. Being able to try out a foreign culture and environment was also an amazing experience.
“Joe Pietersen and Michael Claassens, who have played in France before, were able to communicate to the locals in fluent French, which made our stay easier. I also got to learn a few words!”
With South African rugby entering a new era following the 2015 Rugby World Cup, Jordaan hopes to achieve his biggest goal of cracking the Springbok squad.
“There are some great centres in South Africa at the moment. Guys like Jesse Kriel and Jan Serfontein have really done well for the Springboks so far,” said Jordaan.
“Competition always brings the best out of players. Hopefully, I will do enough to attract the attention of the national selectors. I know I will have to play consistently well during Super Rugby to earn a national call-up.”
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