Springboks fly-half Handre Pollard made his return from injury for Leicester Tigers on Friday evening ahead of a potential recall for the Springboks’ Rugby World Cup campaign.
Pollard missed the Springboks’ Rugby Championship and warm-up matches through injury, which ultimately saw him omitted from South Africa’s 33-man squad for their title defence.
Handre Pollard’s return for Leicester
The 29-year-old came off the bench for Leicester Tigers in thier 14-18 victory over Sale Sharks in the Premiership Rugby Cup.
He converted Ollie Hassell Collins’ try in the 55th minute but missed his second shot at goal on the hour mark. In the 77th minute, he was yellow-carded.
Every Handrè Pollard involvement in his cameo against Sale Sharks last night 🇿🇦
Free of any agenda or bias, I have included every single involvement, good or bad. ✅ pic.twitter.com/Ba9Ie6vl1k
— Angus (@AnalystGus) September 16, 2023
Pollard has been lined up as a potential replacement for injured Springboks hooker Malcolm Marx.
South Africa named just two out-and-out hookers in their squad in Bongi Mbonambi and Marx for the tournament, with Deon Fourie listed as a utility forward.
Speaking on Saturday, Boks’ assistant coach, Mzwandile Stick, said that Pollard was one of their options to replace Marx in the squad.
“Handre Pollard is one of the guys, but at the moment, we haven’t made any final decision,” Stick said.
“We are still looking at options. The key thing is that we just wanted to focus on the Romania game.
“Maybe something official will come after this game,” he added while also naming hooker Joseph Dweba as a possible replacement.
Another option at hooker
Marco van Staden, who is seen as an emergency hooker in the Springboks squad, revealed that he had been working on his scrummaging and lineout throws.
“I actually started practising as a hooker in the alignment camps and have been practising my throwing on the side in case of injury or any situation that happens on the field, and you need an emergency hooker,” he said.
“I’m very comfortable there in practice, but I know that in the game, it would be far more different.
“All the other guys in the front row have helped me a lot to make the adjustment as easy as possible. I’ve had a lot of help from the other front rowers besides the throwing in the lineout.”
South Africa are set to make a final call after the game against Romania on Sunday.