CAPE TOWN: If South Africa are to hear the sweet sounds of success at the Rugby World Cup in Japan, then the conductor of their orchestra is undoubtedly flyhalf Handre Pollard, who just a few years ago wondered if he would ever play again.
Much of the Springboks’ game-plan revolves around the solid number 10 whose clever kicking can buy them yards in territory, while off the tee he is as dependable as anybody in world rugby.
He may have lost some of his pace with ball in hand over the past few years, but Pollard remains a strong runner and dependable asset to the defensive line. He controls the tempo of the Boks’ game, and his on-field intelligence and decision-making are usually spot-on in the pivotal position behind a powerful Bok pack.
Pollard is among the senior leadership group in the squad and a valuable ally for captain Siya Kolisi in making backline calls from set-pieces.
“I’m fortunate that I now have a few more years of test rugby behind me, as do many other players in the squad,” Pollard told reporters in the build-up to the World Cup.
“Even though my role has probably changed a bit and I’m one of the more senior players, it’s impossible not to get excited about playing in a World Cup and I would still like to bring some energy to the squad.”