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Thursday, December 8, 2022

Springbok flyhalf Handre Pollard injured during Leicester Tigers debut

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Durban — Handre Pollard is almost certainly out of the Springboks’ November tour after his troublesome knee broke down just half an hour into his debut for the Leicester Tigers at the weekend.

The Boks were exposed in the Rugby Championship for their lack of depth in arguably the most important position on the field, with scrumhalf Faf de Klerk at one point the cover for the position, so a recurrence of the injury that kept Pollard out of the two Tests against Argentina is not good news for coach Jacques Nienaber.

On Saturday, Leicester coach Steve Borthwick brought on Pollard after half-time in the game against Saracens but 27 minutes after the 28-year-old came on, he is seen to stumble heavily, and off he went.

Pollard had taken the field with his right knee heavily strapped and this was after the good news last week that his injury was not as bad as first feared when he was injured against the Wallabies in Adelaide, but maybe that was wishful thinking.

Just last week, the 63-cap Pollard told reporters: “The body is good. I’m working hard, it’s really feeling good, so we will see how we go on from here.

“We’re still taking it day by day. We’ve still got a couple of boxes to tick but I am very excited and optimistic. I should be good to go for the end-of-year series.”

The silver lining to the Pollard injury in the Rugby Championship is that it prompted Nienaber into using Damian Willemse at flyhalf, and he rose to the occasion impressively.

Other good news is that Johann Goosen is up and running at flyhalf once more for the Bulls. He is very much in Nienaber’s plans and has been involved in the Bok planning and training camps.

Another possibility for Nienaber should there be flyhalf injuries in November is Sale flyhalf Robert du Preez, who is playing well for the Manchester club.

@MikeGreenaway67

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