Avatar photo

By AFP


Flyhalf Pollard an ‘option’ for Springboks Rugby World Cup call-up

"Handre Pollard is one of the guys, but at the moment we haven't made any final decision."


South Africa assistant coach Mzwandile Stick said on Saturday flyhalf Handre Pollard is among the candidates to replace injured hooker Malcolm Marx in the champions’ Rugby World Cup squad.

Marx was ruled out of the tournament in the week with a knee problem suffered in training before Sunday’s game against Romania.

Pollard, 29, was originally omitted from the squad for the World Cup but has recovered from a calf issue, even playing for his English club Leicester Tigers on Friday.

Manie Libbok is the only specialist flyhalf in the squad. Full-back Damian Willemse is starting in the position against Romania.

ALSO READ: Four Springbok players eager to impress against Romania

“Handre Pollard is one of the guys, but at the moment we haven’t made any final decision,” Stick told reporters.

“We are still looking at options.

“The key thing is that we just wanted to focus on the Romania game.

“Maybe something official will come after this game,” he added, also naming hooker Joseph Dweba as a possible replacement for Marx.

During last Sunday’s opening victory over Scotland, lock Eben Etzebeth suffered a shoulder injury.

The 31-year-old, who won the World Cup alongside Pollard and Marx in 2019, is expected to return to face Ireland next weekend before the Boks end their Pool B campaign against Tonga on October 1

“He was busy in the gym today,” Stick said.

“Last week he did one or two full sessions with the team.

“I don’t think it’s a massive injury. We just have to manage him. He’s a few days away from being fully fit,” Stick added.

Access premium news and stories

Access to the top content, vouchers and other member only benefits