South Africa’s Rugby World Cup-winning flyhalf Handre Pollard denied reports linking him with a move from Montpellier to Bath at the end of the season.

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UK media outlets have claimed Pollard, 26, is a target for the English Premiership outfit just halfway through his deal with the Top 14 side.

According to the publication, the West Country side are looking for a Test quality flyhalf and could also turn to Pollard’s club and international teammate Johann Goosen.

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“That is false news. I’ve still got two years left in Montpellier and I’m very happy here and I’m hoping to stay even longer,” Pollard told a press conference launching the new Top 14 season.

“It is very frustrating but it happens a lot. You can’t let it get to you.

“Personally I’m really happy here, my wife’s happy here, I’m really enjoying it here so there’s none of that going on,” he added.

Pollard’s club open their new campaign by hosting Pau on Friday despite 11 of France’s 30 professional clubs recording cases of coronavirus.

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The French league have announced their COVID-19 protocols which include testing three days before each match and if two or more cases are recorded at one outfit then their next game will be postponed.

“I’m not tired of the tests, it’s what we have to do. We as players are tired of not playing rugby,” he said.

“If that’s what they want to do we’ll do anything they want us to do. We have tests every day if it’s necessary,” he added.

Handre Pollard training

Handre Pollard. (Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images)

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Former France head coach Philippe Saint-Andre has been appointed director of rugby by Montpellier’s billionaire owner Mohed Altrad to replace Kiwi Vern Cotter who has taken up a position with Fiji.

Altrad has altered his policy of recruiting foreigners by signing home talent such as France wing Vincent Rattez and former les Bleus youth internationals Florian Verhaeghe and Mickael Capelli for the new campaign.

“Absolutely there’s a change. In terms of the structures they’ve put in, the people they’ve put in, management, medical, coaching, everything. It’s a lot more French than it used to be,” said Pollard.

“I really feel the foreign boys are trying their best to get to know the French culture, learn the language as quickly as possible and becoming a part of their way of doing things.

“We came to their country and so we have to adjust. For me it’s exciting and I feel the French boys are enjoying it being a bit more French.”

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