In the latest SA Rugby magazine, on sale this week, Springbok captain Siya Kolisi is one of the teammates who provides fascinating insight into the influence of flyhalf Handre Pollard.
From 19 June, SA Rugby magazine’s new print issue will be on sale, with Pollard featuring as our cover star.
In the feature written by Jon Cardinelli, we catch up with Pollard to reflect on the journey of his career up to this point, while hearing from the likes of Kolisi, Jesse Kriel, Lood de Jager and Mzwandile Stick, who open up about how the flyhalf has grown as a player and a leader.
In this snippet ripped from the pages of the upcoming magazine, Kolisi speaks openly about how Pollard played a vital supporting role to him as a leader, while discussing the self-belief that has been prevalent in the playmaker’s game ever since he burst on to the Test stage.
‘He [Pollard] knew exactly what he wanted from the moment he stepped on to the training field. You tend to draw energy from a person like that. He was a natural leader, even at the age of 20.
‘It was in his personality to take charge, both in terms of organising the team and through leading by example. I think that when he scored those two tries against the All Blacks [at Ellis Park in 2014] people started to realise that he was worth the hype.’
Although Pollard endured a frightening injury setback after the 2015 World Cup, the Boks noted a change when he returned during the latter stages of the 2017 season. The team, as a collective, started to play with more direction with him starting regularly at No 10.
‘He was stronger mentally,’ says Kolisi. ‘Fearless is probably the right word. Nothing could break him. As we gained momentum in 2018, and then throughout the 2019 season, he became unstoppable.’
*The full article on Pollard features in the new issue of SA Rugby magazine, on sale this week.