Bulls to fast track Pollard?

    2013-07-02 12:21

    Brenden Nel - SuperSport

    Johannesburg - Will Bulls coach Frans Ludeke elevate young Handre Pollard to his match squad for Saturday’s Super Rugby showdown with the Sharks?

    According to the website, that’s the big question this week as the Bulls prepare to rumble on against a dangerous Sharks team who still believes it can make the playoffs.

    With flyhalf Louis Fouche injuring his knee ligaments, ready to undergo surgery and likely to be out for six months, the Bulls will need to have a backup to Morne Steyn should anything happen to him between now and the end of the competition.

    Pollard is the natural answer, but the Bulls have been wary to rushing him into action in Super Rugby and have left his development to the Varsity Cup, IRB Junior World Championship and some Vodacom Cup action.

    On top of this is the fact that Pollard has already played 25 games this season and there is a real concern in over-exerting him in his first season of professional rugby.

    For this reason the Bulls are likely to go with Jurgen Visser as the back-up flyhalf from the bench this week as he has done on a few occasions before, but Steyn will play all 80 minutes if necessary.

    Add to that the return of JJ Engelbrecht to partner Jan Serfontein and the farewell to Wynand Olivier being offset by the timely return from injury for Francois Venter and the backline is looking as strong as ever.

    Engelbrecht was rested after his exploits for the Springboks but is in devastating form and his partnership with Serfontein has flourished since it began earlier this season.

    Vodacom Bulls flyhalf Louis Fouché injured his knee ligaments and will be out of rugby for at least six months. He picked up the injury in the Vodacom Bulls win over the Kings in Pretoria at the weekend.

    In other injury news Cornell Hess (knee) is five months away from action, but Paul Willemse (knee) could return to the training field in a week following successful rehab after his operation.

    Lionel Mapoe (shoulder) will return in three months.

    Wiaan Liebenberg (AC joint, one week), Hencus van Wyk (ankle, Wednesday) and Ruan Steenkamp (ankle, one week) will all return in the next couple of days.

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