Cape Town - Springbok flyhalf Handre Pollard has bid farewell to South Africa, ready to start the next chapter of his career in France.

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After seven years in Pretoria, 25-year-old Pollard and his wife Marise left on Sunday evening for Montpellier, a city the 48-Test star will call home for the foreseeable future.

Pollard, a stand-out performer for the Springboks at the recent Rugby World Cup in Japan, took to Instagram to thank everyone for making their stay in South Africa such a "privilege".

Pollard wrote: We had the amazing privilege of spending 7 year in Pretoria. Got to make new friends and build relationships that will last a lifetime. Thanks to every single person who had a positive influence in our lives. Time for the next chapter. Montpellier let’s GO!!

Pollard was in outstanding form with the boot in particular in Japan, leading the tournament's points scorers list (69) and penalties landed (16).

A broken cheekbone saw Pollard sidelined from the Springboks' Champions Tour of the country, but he did join his team-mates for the final leg in Cape Town.

With Pollard leaving the Bulls, the Pretoria Super Rugby franchise moved quickly to replace him with former Loftus Versfeld darling, Morne Steyn.

Montpellier are currently seventh in the French Top 14 after nine matches. They find themselves a full 16 points behind log leaders, Lyon.

- Compiled by Garrin Lambley