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Pollard to make first post-World Cup start as host of Test players return to Prem

By Kim Ekin
Handre Pollard of South Africa looks on with a cut to his face during the Rugby World Cup Final match between New Zealand and South Africa at Stade de France on October 28, 2023 in Paris, France. (Photo by Julian Finney - World Rugby/World Rugby via Getty Images)

Handre Pollard is set to make his first post-Rugby World Cup start for Leicester Tigers as a host of Test players return to action in the Gallagher Premiership.

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England players Freddie Steward, Ben Youngs, Dan Cole and Ollie Chessum, as well as Rugby World Cup winners Jasper Wiese and Pollard, start in their first game back from test duties with Tongan international Solomone Kata also earning a place in Tigers’ XV after an impressive debut last week.

Meanwhile, Jack Walker, Danny Care and Andre Esterhuizen have been named on the bench for Harlequins for the same fixture, with World Cup returners Joe Marler, Dino Lamb, Marcus Smith and Dillon Lewis starting.

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Bulls Director of Rugby Jake White talks about the return of his World Cup-winning Springboks

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Bulls Director of Rugby Jake White talks about the return of his World Cup-winning Springboks

England back row Courtney Lawes and scrumhalf Alex Mitchell are set to make their first appearances of the season for Northampton Saints, as the pair return to face Exeter Chiefs on Sunday.

England winger Max Malins will make his first appearance for Bristol Bears since 2021 when they take on Sale Sharks at Ashton Gate. Malins and Kyle Sinckler return from World Cup duty to take their place in the starting XV for Saturday’s visit of the Sharks.

England hooker Luke Cowan-Dickie appears in a Sale matchday 23 for the first time while flanker Ben Curry makes his first start of the season. Curry starts in the back-row following his try-scoring return from injury as a replacement last week against Gloucester, while Cowan-Dickie will begin the game on the bench with Argentina hooker Agustin Creevy starting again.

Fellow England hooker Theo Dan gets his first start of the season against Newcastle Falcons on Sunday. Dan shone throughout the Rugby World Cup came off the bench in the bonus-point win over Leicester last weekend.

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Centre Ollie Lawrence makes his first appearance of the 2023/24 season for Bath after helping England bag bronze. He is joined by fellow England player Will Stuart who starts having come off the bench against Northampton Saints last weekend.

It’s not just England internationals returning. Argentina prop Eduardo Bello makes his first start for Newcastle Falcons on Sunday when they host his former club, Saracens.

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2 Comments
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Alistair 224 days ago

Why was Pollard not taken off for compulsorily patching blood injury and Head injury assessment by world rugby officials with this blood injury In. RWC Final?

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