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Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Handre Pollard to join Springboks’ Rugby World Cup squad in Paris

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Flyhalf Handre Pollard will join the Springbok squad in Paris on Monday, SA Rugby said in a statement on Sunday.

After the Springboks’ dominant win over Romania, SA Rugby made the announcement that Pollard would come into the side as replacement for injured hooker Malcolm Marx.

Read SA Rugby’s full statement below:

Springbok flyhalf Handre Pollard will join the national team in Paris on Monday after being called into the squad to fill the vacancy created by hooker Malcolm Marx, who was ruled out of the Rugby World Cup in France earlier this week due to a knee injury.

The inclusion of Pollard, who returned to the field on Friday for English club Leicester after a calf injury ruled him out of contention for selection for the RWC squad, brings the full complement of players in the team back to 33.

Pollard, who was a member of the 2019 Rugby World Cup-winning team in Japan, spent some time in camp with the squad for their final two warm-up games against Wales and the All Blacks in August.

Springbok coach Jacques Nienaber explained the decision to call up Pollard rather than a forward: “We are confident with the cover we have at hooker with Bongi Mbonambi and Deon Fourie, and Marco van Staden has been slotting in the position since our alignment camps in February, so we opted to call up Handre, who has been in our system for years and who was a member of our team in 2019 when we won the World Cup.

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“He’s been working hard to return to full fitness, and we are pleased that he now has some game time under his belt for his club, and this will allow him to slot back into the team.

“We’ll work closely with him in the next week to get him back up to speed and back into the full swing of things, and we have no doubt he’ll step up to the challenge. He’s been here before so he knows the physical and mental demands of the World Cup.”

The Springboks will make the journey from Bordeaux to Paris on Monday where they will begin their preparations for Saturday’s round-three RWC clash against Ireland.

SA Rugby

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