Pollard in as Bosch misses out

Handre Pollard will tour Australia and New Zealand with the Springboks in place of Curwin Bosch. And Pat Lambie looks to be on his way to France.

Elton Jantjies this season has proven himself to be the first choice flyhalf.

It’s the back up reserves at No 10 that is the discussion.

Lambie has already asked to be released from his joint Springbok contract and is said to be off to Racing92 in Paris as a replacement for All Blacks legend Dan Carter, whose three year contract is in his last year.

What do you make of the decision that Pollard leapfrogs the Currie Cup system?

I don’t agree with it. I’ve always rated Pollard as the premier South African flyhalf since his Test debut. But he has hardly played a game in the last 18 months because of injury and was a shadow of the young superstar in the early stages of this season’s Super Rugby.

Pollard got injured midway through Super Rugby and hasn’t played much rugby since.

Bosch has been on fire for most of the season and his international exposure has been limited to the last three minutes of his Test debut in Port Elizabeth against Argentina.

I’d have preferred Pollard to have played Currie Cup rugby in the next three weeks and then reintroduced him to Test rugby for the home Tests against Australia and New Zealand.

Springbok coach Allister Coetzee thinks differently.

He said: ‘Handre was really impressive during the two weeks he spent with us in Port Elizabeth. Even though he was fit and available for the away match against Argentina in Salta, we made a decision that another week of conditioning will be beneficial for him.

‘I believe he is fit and ready to go and he will be utilised in a versatile role, covering centre too. He is the kind of player that really thrives in the Springbok environment and is very coachable. It must be said that he also made huge improvement in terms of his skill levels and the understanding of this team’s technical plan.

‘Curwin has grown a lot during his time with us, and all our coaches are pleased with his current development. He knows what is expected of him in this environment, and like I said before, it is my responsibility to manage him properly at international level.

‘We would like to see him carry the confidence he has gained during his time with Springboks into the Currie Cup.’

The Springbok squad to Australia and New Zealand:
Forwards

Uzair Cassiem (flank), Cheetahs – 3 caps, 5 points (1 try)
Lood de Jager (lock), Bulls -29 caps, 20 points (4 tries)
Ruan Dreyer (prop), Lions – 1 cap, 0 points
Dan du Preez (No 8), Sharks – uncapped
Jean-Luc du Preez (loose forward), Sharks – 6 caps, 5 points (1 try)
Pieter-Steph du Toit (lock), Stormers – 25 caps, 20 points (4 tries)
Eben Etzebeth (lock), Stormers – 59 caps, 15 points (3 tries)
Steven Kitshoff (prop), Stormers – 15 caps, 0 points
Siya Kolisi (flank), Stormers – 21 caps, 20 points (4 tries)
Jaco Kriel (loose forward), Emirates Lions/Kubota Spears (Jap) – 10 caps, 0 points
Malcolm Marx (hooker), Lions – 7 caps, 5 points (1 try)
Bongi Mbonambi (hooker), Stormers – 10 caps, 0 points
Franco Mostert (lock), Lions/Ricoh Black Rams (Japan) – 12 caps, 0 points
Tendai Mtawarira (prop), Sharks – 92 caps, 10 points (2 tries)
Trevor Nyakane (prop), Bulls – 30 caps, 5 points (1 try)
Coenie Oosthuizen (prop), Sharks – 28 caps, 20 points (4 tries)
Chiliboy Ralepelle (hooker), Sharks – 22 caps, 5 points (1 try)

Backs

Andries Coetzee (fullback), Lions – 5 caps, 0 points
Ross Cronje (scrumhalf), Lions – 3 caps, 5 points (1 try)
Damian de Allende (centre), Stormers – 24 Caps, 15 points (3 tries)
Francois Hougaard (scrumhalf), Worcester (England) – 44 caps, 25 points (5 tries)
Elton Jantjies (flyhalf), Lions/NTT Shining Arcs (Japan) – 16 caps, 166 points (2 tries, 30 conversions, 32 penalties)
Jesse Kriel (centre), Bulls – 21 caps, 25 points (5 tries)
Dillyn Leyds (utility back), Stormers – 3 caps, 0 points
Rudy Paige (scrumhalf), Bulls – 9 caps, 5 points (1 try)
Handre Pollard (flyhalf), Bulls – 20 caps, 188 points (2 tries, 29 conversions, 37 penalties, 3 drop goals)
Raymond Rhule (wing), Cheetahs – 5 caps, 5 points (1 try)
Jan Serfontein (centre), Bulls – 30 caps, 20 points (4 tries)
Courtnall Skosan (wing), Lions – 5 caps, 5 points (1 try)

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  • Drewster

    Agree with you. The Springboks have a habit they cannot break of picking players on past reputations not on form. What if he breaks down again?

    Is Steyn not available for the Rugby Championship and what about a couple of the Super Rugby Flyhalves? Makes no sense