REVEALED: Pollard's real value in Montpellier's Euro gold rush
REACTION: Montpellier scrumhalf Benoit Paillaugue said South African World Cup winner Handre Pollard will have “a very big role to play” in the rest of the campaign.
Pollard made his first appearance since September, as the French club reached the European Challenge Cup Final with a 19-10 win at Bath at the weekend.
Flyhalf Pollard, who suffered a serious knee injury in just his second game of the season, came off the bench in the second half to kick a late penalty for the Top 14 strugglers.
“He’s a very important part of our team,” Paillaugue said.
“He’s got a lot of experience and will help us a lot at the end of the season.
“He has a very big role to play.
“We showed massive heart, huge solidarity. It was a deserved win.”
Montpellier, the 2016 Challenge Cup winners, will face Leicester in the Final on May 21 at Twickenham, where up to 10,000 fans will be present.
* (Article continues below Tweet)
Nos ESPOIRS s’inclinent face au leader du championnat, @usap_officiel, sur le score de 32 à 22.
— Montpellier Rugby (@MHR_officiel) May 2, 2021
Pollard was joined by two other World Cup winners in scrumhalf Cobus Reinach, and hooker Bismarck du Plessis on the visitors’ bench.
Pollard, 27, made his return with 22 minutes to go – almost eight months after tearing his anterior cruciate ligament – and his first involvement was an up-and-under which he failed to gather.
Du Plessis, a World Cup winner in 2007 with the Springboks, also came on and won two incredible penalties at the breakdown with the home side on top.
Pollard kicked a penalty in added time to great delight of his teammates.
Montpellier’s focus now turns to hosting La Rochelle next weekend and securing their Top 14 status, as they are just four points above the relegation play-off place.