Why pollard won't face Ireland
INTERVIEW: Handre Pollard will #NOT play for South Africa against Ireland in a crunch Pool B World Cup match in Paris on Sunday.INTERVIEW: Handre Pollard will #NOT play for South Africa against Ireland in a crunch Pool B World Cup match in Paris on Sunday.
That fact was confirmed by Director of Rugby Rassie Erasmus during a media briefing at the start of the build-up to what is generally regarded as a ‘pool decider’.
In contrast, it was confirmed that Eben Etzebeth is available for selection.
Pollard joined the Springbok team in Paris on Monday.
As @rugby365com reported over the weekend, he was called into the squad to fill the vacancy created by hooker Malcolm Marx – who was ruled out of the World Cup in France earlier this week due to a knee injury.
* To read @king365ed’s reasoning about why it all makes sense, CLICK HERE!
The inclusion of Pollard, who returned to the field on Friday for English club Leicester after a calf injury ruled him out of contention for selection for the initial World Cup squad, returns the Bok squad in France to their full quota of 33 players.
Pollard played 30 minutes for Leicester Tigers, kicking a crucial second-half penalty in an 18-14 win over Sale Sharks in a Premiership Cup match on Friday.
However, he will not play at Stade de France, in the Paris suburb of Saint-Denis, on Saturday.
The only way Pollard will come into the selection frame is if there are a number of injuries in the Bok squad this week.
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“He has only just joined us today,” Erasmus told @rugby365com, adding: “He played his first 40 minutes in 14 weeks for Leicester [last] Friday.
“That was the initial reason why we couldn’t bring him to the World Cup.
“There was a lot of ‘return to training’ that had to happen and the ‘return to play’ only happened [this past] Friday.”
Erasmus said it was ‘good’ to have Pollard back in camp, but he must get ‘up to speed’ with the Boks intensity at training.
“We have only played two games in the World Cup,” the SARU boss said, adding: “I am sure we will press on his button at some stage, but not this coming Saturday.”
Assistant coach Deon Davids said Etzebeth has made remarkable progress with his rehabilitation from the shoulder injury suffered against Scotland in Round One.
“He will be in contention for selection this week,” Davids added.