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10 Things You Didn’t Know About Springbok Match Winner Handre Pollard

England and South Africa will battle it out for the biggest prize in World Rugby on Saturday morning in Yokohama, Japan and key to South Africa’s title aspiration is kicking sensation Handre Pollard.

Fans love him and support him because of the skills he consistently portrays whenever he is in the field.

This love has resulted in many of his supporters, and other people try to know him more.

Read more to get to know one of the man behind the Springboks successful run and march to the Rugby World Cup Final: 

Pollard in full flow for the Springboks

Handre Pollard also known as Andre Pollard was born on March 11, 1994, in South Africa.

Pollard’s rugby career took off at an early age when he represented Western Province squad in the Under-13 Craven Week competition in 2007 and at the Under-16 Grant Khomo Week in 2010, before playing at the Under-18 Craven Week competitions in 2011 and 2012.

He is married to a beautiful woman known as Marise Malherbe who is a talented athlete in her own right, having won a gold medal and two silvers in the 800m at the South African National Championships and she is hoping to qualify for the 2020 Olympics.

Pollard plays for as flyhalf for Montpellier in the French Top 14 Rugby League. He became the starting fly-half for the Springbok against Scotland following an injury to regular Morne Steyn at the 2014 IRB Junior World Championship.

In 2012 he steered the Junior Springboks to the world title on home soil as a fresh-faced 18-year-old. In the same year he had also won the Varsity Cup with the University of Pretoria.

In 2014, he captained the Junior Boks to two wins over New Zealand, in New Zealand, and into another Junior World Championship final.

Pollard was named World Junior Player of the Year in the Junior Wold Championship final which South Africa lost by a point to England.

In 2016, Pollard was on the receiving end of some bad news when he was told that he might not play the game anymore as he was due for an arm amputation after a shoulder operation led to an infected joint yet through resilience and tenacity he is now ruling the roost on top of the world enjoying his game.

“I decided to have an operation on my right shoulder soon after the knee, seeing as I was out for months anyway. But I contracted a bug in the hospital and the shoulder became infected. Then came the real complications, which made me really think about life. It got to the point where the doctors raised the subject of amputating my arm, although it wasn’t an immediate option. I spent six weeks in hospital, pumped full of antibiotics about seven hours a day.” Pollard said in an interview.

Pollard, now 25, has played 46 Tests, scored 421 points and is set to make his debut in a senior Rugby World Cup Final when the Springbok go head to head with England on Saturday.

Pollard is the Springbok record holder for most penalty goals (23) in RWC tournaments. His accuracy from the tee and serene composure is a marvel to watch and a game changer for the Springboks.

Pollard is an expert goal kicker and has scored 47 points at this year’s World Cup.

Given the attrition rate of players and lure of overseas club commitments, Pollard might never have another chance at RWC glory than that which presents itself on Saturday.

Pollard’s job remains central to South Africa’s chances of lifting the Webb Ellis Trophy for the third time but it definitely needs another standout performances at the highest level of the game. All he needs is a platform from the forwards to pull the strings on the stage on which he was born to perform.

By Gerald Dandah

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