Springbok flyhalf Handre Pollard has explained why he decided to turn down big-money offers to sign for the Leicester Tigers next season.
Leicester on Tuesday confirmed that the club had signed Pollard from French giants Montpellier from 2022.
Reports have indicated that Pollard’s salary at the English club will be around £600,000 (R12.5-million), but it was also reported that he was offered around £1m to move to Japan.
In an interview with the Leicester Tigers website, Pollard explained why he opted to move to Welford Road.
“Look, there is no bull sh**ting around this, there are bigger deals on the table. I’ve made this decision to work with Steve [Borthwick, Leicester head coach] and to be a part of an unreal, great club at Leicester Tigers which has such a great history in rugby,” Pollard said.
“That’s what excites me, being a part of what is happening at this club under Steve and I know I need to make sure that doesn’t go over the top because I have still got seven months in Montpellier, which I am looking forward to and finishing strongly at the club.”
Pollard was asked to further elaborate on why he regarded Borthwick, a former England international, so highly.
“Yeah, look, he has a very clear vision for what he wants and what he expects. I want that. There is no bull sh** with him. I respect that.
“He is straight up and that’s what I love about a head coach, straight in your face – whether you like it or not – and I want that, I respect that.”
At Leicester, Pollard will be reunited with strength and conditioning coach Aled Walters, who played a big role during the Springboks’ 2019 World Cup campaign.
“Aled was a big factor for me coming to you, he is world class. He looks after people and prepares you to be in the best shape of your life. That excites me, too, to work with Aled again.
“I only had two years with him at the Springboks and, when he left, I was quite sad, so to be able to work with him again is massive for me. I can’t wait.”
Photo: Facundo Arrizabalaga/EPA