South Africa: Pollard Steps Up to the Kicking Tee

17 September 2023

Handé Pollard gets the call-up to the Springbok World Cup squad, addressing the Springboks' weakness at kicking for poles.

After Handré Pollard's performance for Leicester Tigers on Friday night, it appears the injury-plagued flyhalf is on his way to France to join the Springboks World Cup squad.

Although the official announcement will only ne be made on Monday, newspaper Rapport reported on Sunday morning that the experienced and highly-respected flyhalf will be in Paris shortly.

It appears that he will not be available for the crunch match against Ireland this coming weekend but will be available for the pool match against Tonga.

This ends a period of speculation about who will be called up to the squad following the injury to hooker Malcolm Marx.

Apparently Rassie and Jacques Nienaber believe having only one dedicated hooker (in Bongi Mbonambi) and Deon Fourie as a utility hooker will still give sufficient power in the Springbok scrum, the single most important factor of the Springbok attack.

In addition, the Bok coaches apparently feel that Dweba is too similar to Mbonambi.

Manie Libbok, who has had an immaculate run on the field with the Boks, but has been shaky at kicking for goal.

The inclusion of Pollard will no doubt satisfy the fans who wave a warning finger and have proclaimed sagely, "You can't play test rugby without a kicker!"

Other commentators are worried that Pollard is not enough of an attacking flyhalf, but that remains to be seen.

Hopefully Pollard will live up to the expectations.

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