Handre Pollard, a fly-half, has been added to South Africa’s World Cup team, taking the place of Malcolm Marx, who is injured and unable to play.
Due to a calf injury that Pollard, age 29, sustained in May, he was unable to be considered for inclusion to the first 33-man squad.
After being placed on standby for the Springboks, the team has decided to call him up after Marx was forced to withdraw from the competition due to a knee injury he sustained during training.
“We are confident with the cover we have at hooker,” stated the coach of South Africa, Jacques Nienaber. “We have a lot of options.”
Pollard had his first appearance on the field since May, when he participated in Leicester Tigers’ 18-14 victory over Sale Sharks in the Premiership Rugby Cup on September 15. His time on the field lasted 30 minutes.
Nienaber continued by saying, “We decided to call up Handre, who has been in our system for years and was a member of our team in 2019 when we won the World Cup.” Handre was a member of the team that won the World Cup in 2019.
“He has been putting in a lot of hard work to get back into full shape, and we couldn’t be happier that he is finally starting to get some playing time for his club. This will make it possible for him to take his place among the team.”
The team that won the World Cup in 2019 will keep hookers Bongi Mbonambi and Deon Fourie in their lineup. Additionally, after their 76-0 victory over Romania on Sunday, back row player Marco van Staden switched to the front row to play in the role of hooker.
Pollard, who scored 22 points in South Africa’s triumph over England in the 2019 World Cup final, will be the second specialist fly-half in the team, joining Manie Libbok; however, Damian Willemse wore the number 10 shirt in South Africa’s match against Romania on Sunday. Pollard’s performance earned South Africa the tournament’s top prize.
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