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Springbok Handre Pollard to make long-awaited return for Tigers

By Tom Vinicombe
(Photo by Craig Mercer/MB Media/Getty Images)

Handre Pollard, one of the most highly anticipated Premiership signings of the 2022-23 season will make his starting debut for Leicester on Friday night when the Tigers take on Sale.


Pollard has made just a solitary appearance for Leicester since coming on board at the start of the season, featuring off the bench in a 51-18 loss to Saracens in October. The experienced Springboks playmaker has been sidelined since his Premiership debut, with a knee injury first suffered during the Rugby Championship flaring up in the defeat.

Friday night’s fixture at Salford City Stadium will mark the final match of the calendar year for both sides.

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Pollard’s inclusion at No 10 is the only change new coach Richard Wigglesworth has made to the match-day squad from last weekend’s league win over Gloucester at Mattioli Woods Welford Road.

Pollard’s inclusion sees Freddie Burns shift to the bench.

Second-rower Calum Green, who is also included among the replacements, is in line for his 100th Leicester Tigers appearance.

Pollard will line up opposite in-form Sale playmaker Rob du Preez, who one international appearance for the Springboks to his name.


With Pollard sidelined and Elton Jantjies also unavailable, South Africa relied upon the inexperienced Damian Willemse in the No 10 jersey throughout the latter stages of the Rugby Championship as well as the team’s northern tour, with youngster Mannie Libok also earning minutes at flyhalf throughout November.

With 63 Test caps to his name, Pollard’s return to action will be welcome news for both Springboks and Tigers supporters.

Friday’s clash between the second-placed Sharks and fourth-placed Tigers is due to kick off at 7:45pm.

Leicester Tigers:


15 Freddie Steward [63]
14 Anthony Watson [9]
13 Guy Porter [52]
12 Dan Kelly [47]
11 Harry Potter [52]
10 Handré Pollard [1]
9 Jack van Poortvliet (vc) [56]

1 James Whitcombe [31]
2 Charlie Clare [64]
3 Dan Cole (vc) [301]
4 Harry Wells [167]
5 Ollie Chessum [39]
6 Hanro Liebenberg (c) [71]
7 Tommy Reffell [87]
8 Olly Cracknell [11]


16 Gabriel Oghre [2]
17 Nephi Leatigaga [75]
18 Joe Heyes [110]
19 Calum Green [99]
20 Sean Jansen [11]
21 Ben Youngs [290]
22 Freddie Burns [113]
23 Chris Ashton [22]


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