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Rugby | Currie Cup

Pollard in race for fitness

All eyes may be on Vodacom Super Rugby at the moment, but the Blue Bulls’ Absa Currie Cup campaign was dealt a blow with the news that Junior Boks flyhalf Handre Pollard injured himself at practice on Tuesday.

With the Currie Cup set to start in five weeks' time, Pollard hurt his AC joint and has been ruled out for between four to six weeks. The Bulls medical staff are hopeful that he will be ready in time for the start of the competition.

Pollard, who was one of the stars in the Junior Boks’ team that won the 2012 IRB Junior World Championship, is set to get an extended run in the Currie Cup as he continues his rugby development. With Springbok Morne Steyn heading to France and back-up Louis Fouche out for six months with injury, a lot of responsibility will fall on the youngster’s shoulders.

With both Steyn and Fouche gone, there are few other options for the Bulls in the pivot position in terms of experience.

Other than Pollard, there is also Tony Jantjies and Willie du Plessis, both players who have excelled at Junior and Varsity Cup level and who are likely to see some action during the tournament.

Also good news is that the Bulls have decided to let the experiment to play Pollard at 12 go, and for the foreseeable future the youngster will be able to concentrate on playing at flyhalf and not at centre.

Pollard endured an unhappy IRB Junior World Championship this year as he was moved between the two positions after playing for most of the Varsity Cup at 12.

But he is known to prefer the number 10 jersey and will now be given ample chance to play there once he returns to fitness.


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