Pollard contenders
Handre Pollard. Photo: SA Rugby

Home » Springboks: Three contenders to sit on Pollard’s throne

Springboks: Three contenders to sit on Pollard’s throne

Handre Pollard is not going anywhere at 29. However, there’s strength in depth for the Springboks at 10 with three talented pretenders breathing down his neck.

22-01-24 13:27
Pollard contenders
Handre Pollard. Photo: SA Rugby

Handre Pollard is still just 29 but that doesn’t mean his Springboks number 10 jersey isn’t under serious threat.

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Handre Pollard kicked all 12 of South Africa’s points in their dramatic 12-11 win over New Zealand last Saturday. He scored 22 of their 32 points in the 2019 final too, further evidence of his clutch status in crucial moments. Ice-cold under pressure, the Leicester pivot will still have designs on the number 10 jersey for his country. However, Manie Libbok and others are ready to step up to the plate.

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“Erasmus name-checked Stormers wunderkind Sacha Feinberg-Mngomezulu and Sharks playmaker Curwin Bosch as players who could offer competition at flyhalf going forward, along with Manie Libbok,” a statement read on SARugbyMag.


There can be no doubt about the natural ability of Manie Libbok. The 26-year-old started the semi-final against England before being withdrawn for Pollard, who replaced him in the final. In more optimal and dry conditions, Libbok’s flair and flamboyant playmaking would have been showcased better. As it were, Pollard was the man for the job with a greasy ball and almost no expansive rugby on show.

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Springboks Rugby World Cup
South Africa’s wing Kurt-Lee Arendse (R) celebrates with flyhalf Manie Libbok. Photo by WIKUS DE WET / AFP)


Starring for the Stormers in several backline positions, 21-year-old Feinberg-Mngomezulu has captivated URC audiences with his complete game. Solid on defence, proficient as a goal-kicker, creative with the ball in hand and as silky as they come on a technical level, this guy has all the ingredients to succeed at the highest level.

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The maverick in the pack, Sharks playmaker Bosch certainly doesn’t lack confidence or X-Factor. To become a truly legit contender for the jersey, however, he’ll need to become more dependable and consistent. If he does, then South Africa has a serious player on their hands. Like Libbok he’s still just 26 but already has bags of experience under his belt.

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Who’s your pick to take over from Pollard when he eventually hangs up his boots or is it too early to speculate? Let us know in the comments.

Meanwhile, hit up James Freemantle for more insights, news, views and commentary.