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Pollard injury 'similar' to one that ruled him out of RC

By Chris Jones
Handre Pollard of Leicester Tigers looks on in the warm up prior to the Gallagher Premiership Rugby match between Saracens and Leicester Tigers at the StoneX Stadium on October 01, 2022 in Barnet, England. (Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)

Handre Pollard, the World Cup winning Springbok outside half, is currently being assessed after suffering what Leicester have confirmed is an injury to the “similar area” that forced him out of the Rugby Championship and delayed his Tigers debut.

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Pollard only lasted 27 minutes after making his first Leicester appearance in the 51-18 shock defeat at Saracens. Now, Leicester face an anxious wait to discover if the meniscus injury Pollard suffered to his knee has flared up again after facing Saracens on their 4G pitch.

Steve Borthwick, the Leicester head coach, was typically guarded in his response to questions about Pollard’s health during today’s press briefing and said: “Handre is an incredibly positive character and he took a little bang and that is being assessed at the moment. We are getting it investigated now and it is the similar area.”

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Borthwick is playing down the negatives that conceding a half century of points by the reigning champions could have on his young squad as they prepare to face unbeaten Sale Sharks. He added: “My focus doesn’t go beyond Sale and we will take the lessons from the Saracens game and look at the areas we need to be better. We learnt a lot but you can only show that by putting it into practise and it was a tough experience and one the players will have an opportunity to learn from.

“This team in the last year has won a lot of games and the last 20 minutes was very poor and we gave away seven penalties and 24 points. We have to be better than that.”

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Borthwick has taken some positives from the Saracens beating, most notably the first Premiership start in Leicester colours of England wing Anthony Watson, a summer signing from Bath. “It was great to see Anthony out there and it is brilliant for him to be back out there and he will only get sharper and sharper. He will get to know the players around him and from that point of view he will get better as he gets more game time. It is a process that will happen very fast.”

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