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Leicester confirm Handre Pollard will replace Ford next season

By Liam Heagney
(Photo by Grant Pitcher/Gallo Images/Getty Images)

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Leicester have confirmed they will replace England out-half George Ford with Handre Pollard, the Springboks 2019 World Cup winner, for the 2022/23 season after the 27-year-old agreed to make the move from the French club Montpellier. What the Tigers would do next became a hot topic last month when Ford decided he would switch to Sale after the Sharks confirmed that AJ MacGinty would be leaving for Bristol. Pollard was a name quickly linked to the vacancy, with Finn Russell also mentioned. 

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In the end, though, the 60-cap Springboks talisman became the Leicester choice – a development first reported by RugbyPass on November 18 – and a deal was officially announced on Tuesday afternoon. “Handre is a world-class fly-half who brings with him a wealth of experience from Super Rugby, Top14 and international rugby,” said Tigers boss Steve Borthwick.  

“He is a World Cup winner who has been highly sought-after from clubs all over the globe but, most pleasingly, he sees Leicester Tigers as the club for him.

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“What has impressed me most in our dealings with him has been his desire to be a part of what we are building at this club but also his desire to develop, learn and grow as a player and person. This is a very exciting signing for the club and one I hope Leicester Tigers fans are excited about.”

Pollard added: “I am excited to join Leicester Tigers, to be a part of this great group of players at a special club and challenge myself, test my limits and be the very best I can be for the team. The club is going brilliantly at the moment and I know there is an expectation to continue that, to keep getting better because getting to the top is hard but staying there is even harder.

“There are bigger deals on the table, but I’ve made this decision to work with Steve and to be a part of an unreal, great club at Leicester Tigers which has such a great history. I don’t know the whole history of Leicester Tigers, but this is a club that is so well renowned worldwide. Everybody I have spoken to about playing there, for Tigers or an away team, says it’s the one stadium that is on another level.”

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Pollard will link up with Leicester at the conclusion of his Springboks commitments ahead of the 2022/23 season in England.

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