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Handre Pollard paid a classy compliment by an ex-England out-half

By Liam Heagney
(Photo by Ross Parker/SNS Group via Getty Images)

A former England out-half has paid Handre Pollard a classy compliment after the 2019 Rugby World Cup winner’s latest involvement in the recent Leicester charge up the Gallagher Premiership table. Tigers have won their last five league matches to catapult up the rankings and leave them in third place heading towards the end-of-season playoffs.

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Pollard injured himself on his October 1 debut for the English club at Saracens but the South African has been increasingly excellent since his late December return to action, demonstrating why Leicester decided to sign him from Montpellier for the 2022/23 season.

His most recent outing came in last Saturday’s convincing 46-24 Mattioli Woods Welford Road win over Bristol, Pollard’s ninth appearance for the club, and his contribution massively impressed Andy Goode, who was at the match entertaining some corporate guests.

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Reflecting on the top-notch performance he witnessed from Pollard, Goode said on the latest episode of The Rugby Pod: “They [Leicester] have now won five on the spin and a lot of it is Handre Pollard. I’m not exaggerating, he was world-class. He was absolutely world-class on Saturday.

“Kicks to touch, he is booting penalties from his own half that are landing five metres from the try line, his crossfield kicks are perfection, and the best moment – tackling. He is sticking shoulders in like you wouldn’t believe.

“It was a complete performance from him. He has got options left, right and centre, he is picking out the right options. He was world-class at the weekend – and then Freddie Burns has taught him the old chip and chase because he pulled it out. It was class.

“He is a worldie and he is putting it in. You speak to people around the club and how much he is invested in the club. You see some of these foreign players come to the Premiership on a big pay packet.

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“They try their hardest and they try and play well but they are not fully invested in everything that goes on at the club. Handre Pollard is – and Leicester are on fire.”

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J
Jon 1 hours ago
Buoyant England travel to New Zealand full of hope but are they walking into an All Blacks ambush?

> New head coach Scott Robertson has kept only forwards coach Jason Ryan and conditioning coach Nic Gill from the previous regime *and so there is little institutional knowledge inherent in the new team.* Shows you what the English know about sport. Isn’t just fantastic that the best rugby team, or brand, on the planet has three brothers playing together? One a bull, the other a dancer, and last a .. boxer? Looks like a boxer bless him. > But Robertson has been working to fix that issue, with senior players and coaches having been regularly meeting to work out how they will operate together both on and off the field to ensure there is strong decision-making and a deep understanding of how the team wants to play. Have they? I would suggest then it is not a case of fixing things, that is not what Razor does. Razor will evolve the relationship between player and coach into a more symbiotic relationship. This wont be a coach that shouts down at his players theyre not doing good enough. I can imagine one of the first key areas he will be implementing is the respective leadership for each coaching group. Tight five, Loosies, Halves, Centers, and Back Three, will each have their own leadership team and an agile approach to the playing group relaying what they believe is happening on the training paddock, and in games. It will be a very big step to get everyone involved, able, and thinking about contributing to that process, but I believe a very beneficial one if successful. > England may have their best chance to win in 21 years, but they may also be walking into an ambush – *about to be hit* by a young, gifted, supremely physical and athletic All Blacks team coached by a man who has made every post a winner so far in his career and has this uncanny knack of getting the best out of people. Or, by a group hurting from not getting over the line and proving to everyone they are the best in the world, full of experience and cohesion, grit and motivation. You only need to look at someone like Patrick Tuipulotu to see someone with a fire under his belly from missing out on the last RWC due to injury, and having lost to this opposition in the previous one. It will be very interesting to see how this ‘Razor’ plays it. Does he stick with the traditional and protect the time honored All Black values of commitment, or does he evolve and pick the best players to win the Rugby Championship - and by association this test series - like Akira Ioane?

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