Pollard doesn't need Currie Cup says Coetzee
REACTION: Springboks head coach Allister Coetzee defended Handre Pollard's inclusion in his squad for their upcoming away matches against Australia and the All Blacks in the Rugby Championship. Warren Fortune reports.
Pollard was chosen ahead of Curwin Bosch in the 29-man squad that will travel to Australasia, despite the Blue Bulls pivot missing most of this season so far with an ankle injury.
Pollard also had a prolonged stint on the sidelines in 2016 with a knee injury.
However, according to Coetzee, Pollard is just too good to be left out of the Springbok setup
"Handre has made tremendous strides since he has joined us at our camp in Stellenbosch and then the two weeks in PE [Port Elizabeth]," Coetzee told reporters in Cape Town on Tuesday.
"I was tempted to select him then [against Argentina], but I thought [give him] another week with regards to his conditioning, extra conditioning and kicking out of hand and kicking for poles. That was the instruction and we will see on Friday.
"Sometimes people ask why he doesn't play Currie Cup. I know at what intensity we are training, it's more than match intensity and the physical component as well and the way he responded gives me a lot of confidence to select him."
Coetzee said he will be keeping a close eye on Bosch's progress in the Currie Cup
"We have to manage him [Bosch] correctly. He will play for the Springboks for a very long time - he has done well. I would like to see the confidence that he will take back to the Sharks.
"Continuity is crucial, but the couple of weeks he has been with the Springboks you can see that there's confidence is oozing out of the youngster.
"He has learnt a hell of a lot and I am pleased. Anytime there's an injury, I won't have any problems selecting Curwin back into the side again," Coetzee added.
The Springboks are currently sitting at the top of the Rugby Championship standings after their two wins over Argentina.
The Boks beat the Pumas 37-15 in Port Elizabeth before bagging a bonus-point 41-23 win in Salta last weekend.
Coetzee's side takes on the Wallabies in Perth on Saturday, September 9 followed by a clash against the All Blacks in North Harbour on Saturday, September 16.
By Warren Fortune