Returning Springbok Handre Pollard looking to inflict 'damage' on Georgia
Since the World Cup two years ago Springbok flyhalf Handre Pollard has not had much luck, tearing his ACL shortly after during his first season with his new club Montpellier.
The flyhalf has been on the comeback trail since, but hasn’t missed a test match as the Springboks have yet to play following their World Cup victory.
When he returns to test rugby against Georgia this weekend, it will complete a long journey back which Pollard says has prepared him ‘physically and mentally’ for the next challenge.
“It’s massively special to be back in the environment with your mates and the coaches,” Pollard said during a Springboks media opportunity.
“It’s a special group we got here. Just to be back is very exciting.
“On a personal note, for a guy to tear his ACL and not miss a Test match is a pretty good bargain. I just very happy to be here.”
Pollard has been named to start at flyhalf against the Georgians after four games for Montpellier since returning in early May. Some will feel Pollard is undercooked, but he insists that the ‘hard work’ has been done and that he is ready.
“I have been working very hard getting back from the injury and I got some game time with Montpellier,” he said.
“Physically and mentally I am ready to go.
“I am really excited and I will just try and influence the game positively and try to lead the boys in the right direction.
“I want to try and give some guidance to the new guys and keep them calm and just make sure we put out the best performance on Friday.”
He has been named alongside a new scrumhalf and inside centre, in Cobus Reinach and Frans Steyn, two members of the World Cup squad but not the first choice starters. Although Pollard does have some familiarity with Reinach as the pair are teammates at Montpellier.
“It is great to have Cobus with me. We have become great mates over the last year and a half,” he said.
“We spent a lot of time together. Unfortunately, we did not play together too much for Montpellier because of Covid and my injury.
“But we trained a lot together, so we got a good understanding and it is going to be great having him on my inside.
“I also got the old dog, Francois Steyn, on my outside with all the experience in the world. I will try and get him as angry as possible before Friday night so that he can do some damage.”
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