Pol­lard fit to come on in Paris

The Times (South Africa) - - Sport - By LIAM DEL CARME

● Han­dré Pol­lard’s body may be as fa­mil­iar with a scalpel as it is with a fork, but he could not feel bet­ter.“It is the best I’ve felt in the past two years. It’s funny but it’s true. I feel great. I don’t have any pain. I trained today (Tues­day) with­out any strap­ping.”

He ex­plained his or­thopaedic up­heaval of the past two years. “It was shoul­der, knee, com­pli­ca­tions in the shoul­der be­cause of in­fec­tion, then my an­kle and then there were com­pli­ca­tions.”

His restora­tion to full fit­ness has been noted and he is likely to start in the No 10 jer­sey when the Spring­boks hope to bounce back against France on Satur­day.

El­ton Jan­tjies has not been his as­sertive self and the swag­ger has left his game since he started oc­cu­py­ing a deeper role in the Bok setup. When he plays flat at the Lions he poses more threat to the de­fen­sive line.

Pol­lard can op­er­ate in ei­ther po­si­tion and brings more kick­ing me­tres when they need to reach touch. He takes it to the line in a dif­fer­ent way, but he in­sists it does not re­quire much adap­ta­tion. “Those dif­fer­ences are there but in the big­ger pic­ture it is not a big deal. The okes will adapt.”

Pol­lard does not know if he will start, but in­sists he is ready for what­ever comes his way. “I think calm­ness and com­po­sure is needed from me.”

The same char­ac­ter­is­tics will have to per­me­ate the en­tire Bok setup if they are go­ing to bounce back from their scan­dalous per­for­mance against Ire­land.

In­vok­ing the same pas­sion that brought them within a whisker of beat­ing the All Blacks at New­lands last month will be key at the Stade de France.

“I sense in these con­di­tions you have to do it in a calmer way. More con­trolled, fo­cused and ac­cu­rately.”

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