‘Pollard SA’s best 10 by country mile’

Three former Springbok flyhalves on whether Handré Pollard should start at No 10 against Argentina in Mendoza on Saturday.

Joel Stransky

‘He should definitely start. He had a slight off day from the kicking tee last Saturday, but every kicker does. However, even when a kicker has a bad day we need to differentiate between his kicking and the rest of his game. And Pollard’s all-round game is still fantastic. He is the best we have by a country mile.

‘It’s great a see a young guy like Damian Willemse coming through, but he has got an enormous amount still to learn, particularly about the nuances of playing 10 at senior level. We shouldn’t forget he has only got a handful of Super Rugby games behind him and 10 minutes of Test rugby.’

Naas Botha

‘I am amazed by the noise surrounding Handré’s form. There is absolutely nothing wrong with it.

‘You can’t compare one player to the next because they are coming out of different franchises, being coached by coaches with different mentalities. So you have to look at the result on the weekend. It was a great score. Yes, Handré didn’t kick well at goal but there is nothing else to it. As long as we keep winning. The thing is that over the past two years we have had such bad results, we suddenly have an attitude that we have to beat everybody by 80 points, which I don’t understand.

‘I don’t think Handré played badly. He didn’t kick well, but he can sort that out himself. I went through it myself. Sometimes you kick badly and people think you played badly, but you actually play well. Sometimes you kick extremely well and play badly, and people think you played well.

‘I am very relaxed about where Handré is at the moment. One or two things didn’t work out against Argentina, but we weren’t playing a Mickey Mouse team.’

COLUMN: Pollard, Jantjies aren’t the enemy

Braam van Straaten

‘Handré didn’t kick well in Durban, but that’s not reason enough to drop him from the starting lineup. He played well in general and his form should be rewarded.

‘As I’ve said before, Handré has the potential to be the best flyhalf South Africa has ever seen, and the more he plays, the better he’ll get.

‘He is a good striker of the ball, but technically there are one or two areas that he can improve on and once he has made those adjustments, he will be consistent off the kicking tee.

‘But he should retain his place in the team regardless.’

Interviews by Mariette Adams & Dylan Jack

Photo: Steve Haag/Gallo Images

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