Handre Pollard reflects: I had written my World Cup chances off!

Flyhalf Handre Pollard has reflected on returning to the Springboks’ team just as he had given up on his World Cup dream.

After a whirlwind couple of weeks, Handre Pollard has rejoined his English side Leicester as attention shifts back to club duty after winning the World Cup with the Springboks.

Naturally, Pollard was essential to the World Cup playoffs; he did not miss a single attempt at goal, most notably when he scored a long-range goal against England in the semifinals.

After suffering an injury that initially prevented him from being selected for the World Cup, Pollard made an amazing recovery. His tournament was cut short, and he was later called up in lieu of Malcom Marx.

“I was back in the mix just when I’d written off my chances of making the World Cup,” he recounted in an excellent interview for Rugby Pass.

“It was the last thing I wanted for one of my teammates to get hurt, and the club never benefits from losing a player of Malcolm’s caliber. Even so, I was overjoyed to get that call.

“Perhaps I’ve been fortunate, as some players don’t recover from these injuries.” Nothing will ever be taken for granted by me. But after a few instances, you begin to believe in the process and focus on making a return. Knowing that you have been down that path before brings you some peace.


Meanwhile, the Bok pivot hailed the never-say-die spirit of this World Cup winning group.

“I’m not sure that there is another group like this in rugby, that just simply refuses to give up and always finds a way, no matter the challenge,” he continues. “The scoreline in the three World Cup playoffs tells a story, but when you think about the past six years, we’ve been fighting non stop. It’s a legacy that we should be proud of.” 


After winning the World Cup, the Springboks celebrated for days on end, including a blockbuster trophy tour.

“It was a tough week,” Pollard said in another interview, with clear subtext to how the celebrations took a toll. “A real tough week – but enjoyable. The first two, three days were the most enjoyable because it was just us as a

Hey, we’re still at the motel. We left on Monday and traveled for a few days. It was just the two of us; once you get to South Africa, everything is frantic and chaotic, and you don’t really get to spend time together.

Not a lot of sleep was had at all. To be honest, I have no idea how some guys manage to accomplish it. I used to think I was very good at having fun, but after seeing the standards they set, I’m really bad at it. Damian Willemse and Cheslin Kolbe were among the guys who didn’t hold back. When one guy becomes fatigued, the other one steps in and restarts the conversation. It was astounding.

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