Handre Pollard Springboks
Handre Pollard. Photo: BackpagePix

Home » Handre Pollard included in Leicester team amid RWC rumours

Handre Pollard included in Leicester team amid RWC rumours

Handre Pollard appears likely to be called up by the Springboks after an injury to Malcolm Marx ruled him out of the World Cup.

15-09-23 10:56
Handre Pollard Springboks
Handre Pollard. Photo: BackpagePix

On Thursday, the Springboks confirmed that hooker Malcolm Marx has been ruled out of the remainder of the Rugby World Cup in France with a long-term knee injury. Marx’s injury has sparked rumours that fellow Springbok, Handre Pollard might be called up to take his place.

BOMBSHELL: Springbok star Marx out of World Cup – confirmed

It’s a major blow for the team, but just as notable was the statement that with “the luxury of an enlarged 33-man squad in France”, the Springboks feel there is “sufficient cover at hooker within the squad”.

ALSO READ: Makazole Mapimpi set for milestone Springbok start

As a result, Marx will not be replaced in the squad at this stage, but Springbok coach Jacques Nienaber did state: “We’ll assess our needs for the rest of the tournament and confirm who we are calling up as an additional player later this week.”

With the Boks indicating they are not inclined to call up a specialist hooker as a replacement, there is a strong feeling that Pollard is the most likely candidate to then be brought into the squad.

Notably, on Thursday afternoon, Pollard’s club Leicester Tigers posted an image of Pollard to X with a waving hand emoji.

Perhaps not too much should be read into this, although there were many social media users who suspected this might be an indication that the English club was preparing to wave goodbye to the flyhalf.

What could be more notable is the fact that Pollard was included on the Leicester bench as he returns to matchday action for Friday’s Premiership Rugby Cup away game against Sale Sharks at Salford Stadium.

ALSO READ: Springboks won’t replace injured Marx, but could Pollard return?

LATEST: Springboks issue major injury update

With a hooker not expected to be called up, this means the Springboks are comfortable with Fourie serving as the back-up to Mbonambi for the remainder of the tournament despite having predominantly played at flank for the last few years of his career.

The expectation may have been for the Springboks to call up Joseph Dweba, a specialist hooker on the standby list, but this apparently won’t be the case.


Instead, the Springboks can now consider calling up another player on the “ready to go list” – Jean-Luc du Preez, Joseph Dweba, Handre Pollard, Lukhanyo Am and Thomas du Toit – and there is a very good chance that Pollard could be brought back into the team.

Now back to full fitness, Pollard has been in training with his English club Leicester Tigers after leaving the Springbok camp, and his experience could be seen as a big benefit for the Springboks.

WATCH: Best angle of THAT Jesse Kriel tackle you have to see


“First and foremost, we are extremely disappointed for Malcolm, and we wish him all the best in his recovery,” said Nienaber.

“He’s been working very hard to be in the best form possible for the tournament, and it’s tragic that his campaign has ended this way. As a team we will remain in contact with him, as we do with all injured players like Lukhanyo (Am), Handre (Pollard) and Lood (de Jager) and support him as much as we can through the recovery process.”

VIDEO: Faf de Klerk leaves fan in tears during special moment

Springboks Malcolm Marx Rugby World Cup
Marx will miss the rest of the RWC. Image: @springboks / x.