Pollard blow opens Springbok door for Goosen
There is also now an even bigger need to bring in a young flyhalf to grow the depth in the Bok squad.
Springbok flyhalf Handre Pollard in action during his debut for Leicester Tigers against Saracens over the past weekend. Picture: David Rogers/Getty Images
In a blow to the Springboks, flyhalf Handre Pollard may miss the end of year tour after he limped off the field just 27 minutes into his debut for Leicester Tigers against Saracens over the past weekend.
The Boks had received a boost last week when it emerged that a second opinion on Pollard’s knee injury had cleared him to return to action, with him coming on at halftime in Saturday’s game, however he couldn’t see out the half and it seems like he may have been rushed back.
If it is eventually confirmed that Pollard has aggravated the knee injury he suffered against Australia in Adelaide, it will almost certainly mean he will be unavailable for the Boks games against Ireland, France, Italy and England in November.
However it is not all doom and gloom as this will likely open the door for Bulls flyhalf Johan Goosen to possibly be backed as the starting flyhalf on the end of year tour.
Goosen has long been earmarked as the Boks third choice flyhalf behind Pollard and Elton Jantjies.
But with the drama that Jantjies has been involved in this year, including being arrested at the airport and reports of an affair with the team dietician, it remains to be seen if the Boks will pick him for the tour.
Damian Willemse is another solid flyhalf option, having deputised in the position after Pollard was injured and Jantjies was sent home from Argentina, but he also impressed at fullback before that and should probably play there.
Frans Steyn, who started the Boks final Rugby Championship game at flyhalf due to Willemse being concussed, did not have a good game, which should end any chances of him being backed to start, and he should go back to his regular role as impact player off the bench.
With the SA A team also in action during the Boks end of year tour, they should bring a couple of youngsters along, like Stormers flyhalf Manie Libbok and Lions flyhalf Jordan Hendrikse, and they could also shift into the main side if needed during the tour.