Rugby World Cup 2023: Handre Pollard called up by South Africa

Handre Pollard
Pollard won the first of his 63 international caps against Scotland in June 2014

South Africa have called up fly-half Handre Pollard to their World Cup squad to replace injured hooker Malcolm Marx.

Pollard, 29, missed out on selection for the original 33-man squad after picking up a calf injury in May.

He has been called up after being on standby for the Springboks after Marx was ruled out of the tournament when he suffered a knee injury in training.

"We are confident with the cover we have at hooker," said South Africa coach Jacques Nienaber.

Pollard played for the first time since May in a 30-minute appearance for Leicester Tigers in their 18-14 win over Sale Sharks in the Premiership Rugby Cup on 15 September.

"We opted to call up Handre, who has been in our system for years and who was a member of our team in 2019 when we won the World Cup," added Nienaber.

"He's been working hard to return to full fitness and we are pleased that he now has some game time under his belt for his club. This will allow him to slot back into the team."

The 2019 World Cup winners still have hookers Bongi Mbonambi and Deon Fourie in their squad, while back row Marco van Staden switched to the front row to play in the position during their 76-0 win over Romania on Sunday.

Pollard, who kicked 22 points in the 2019 World Cup final victory over England, will be the second specialist fly-half in the squad alongside Manie Libbok while Damian Willemse wore the number 10 shirt in Sunday's game with Romania.