Pollard called up to SA A squad

Handré Pollard will join the South Africa A squad in Johannesburg on Sunday as replacement for Francois Venter.

Venter was on Monday called up to the Boks in Durban following the withdrawal from the squad by Damian De Allende, who has returned to Cape Town to continue his injury rehabilitation.

Pollard, who played the first of his 20 Tests against Scotland in 2014, missed the entire season last year because of injury. He also spent seven weeks on the sidelines after picking up an ankle injury at training in April, but made his return for the Blue Bulls in the Provincial Rugby Challenge last weekend.

'We’ve been together now for a week and it would not have made sense to bring Handré in for only a couple of days before the first match, so he will join us in Johannesburg,' said SA A coach Johan Ackermann.

'Handré is a proven Test player and he has just recently returned from a long injury spell, so it will be good to give him this opportunity to improve his match fitness. His experience will also be vital for us.'

Ackermann will announce his match 23 for their opening encounter against the French Barbarians on Tuesday. The clash, on Friday, will be the first rugby match hosted at Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban.

The second match is scheduled for next Friday at Orlando Stadium in Soweto.

Photo: Lee Warren/Gallo Images

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Simon Borchardt