Rugby Championship

Coetzee: No need for Pollard to play Currie Cup

2017-08-30 10:10
Handre Pollard (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - Springbok coach Allister Coetzee feels there’s no need for Handre Pollard to first play a Currie Cup game before returning to Test rugby.

Injuries have kept Pollard on the sidelines for the best part of two seasons, with his last international appearance coming against Argentina at the 2015 Rugby World Cup in England.

But the Bulls pivot was on Tuesday included in the Springbok touring squad for the Australasian leg of the Rugby Championship, with Curwin Bosch released to play for the Sharks in the Currie Cup.

There were rumours that Pollard would play a few Currie Cup games for the Blue Bulls to get match fit, but according to Coetzee, that was not needed.

"Sometimes people wonder why he hasn't played Currie Cup, but our intensity at which we train, is more than match intensity," Coetzee said at Cape Town International Airport after arriving back from Argentina on Tuesday.

"The way he has responded gives me a lot of confidence to select him."

Coetzee believes that Pollard is 100% fit and ready for selection.

"Handre has made tremendous strides since he joined us in Stellenbosch and then for the two weeks in PE," Coetzee added.

"I was tempted to select him then, but I thought another week with regard to his extra conditioning work, kicking out of hand and kicking at poles would be better.”

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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