Pollard fit to come on in Paris
● 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.”