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Footage emerges of Handre Pollard before his famous RWC semi penalty

BY Philip Bendon  ·  Thursday Jun 27, 2024

Double World Cup-winning flyhalf Handre Pollard is not one to be easily flustered, unsurprising really, given the frequency with which he seems to land key shots at goal for both his club Leicester and the Springboks.

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Earmarked as a potential star when at 18 years old, he led the Junior Boks to the 2012 World Rugby U20 title; Pollard would go on to feature at two more U20 World Championships in 2013 and 2014.

Immediately following the 2014 Championship, Pollard was called up to the senior Springbok squad, making his international debut against Scotland in June.

Since then, when fit, Pollard has been the Boks’ first-choice flyhalf and is currently third on the all-time South African points-scoring list.

Amongst the raft of points he has scored, few are more important than the ice-cold penalty he landed against England in the 2023 Rugby World Cup semi-final, which put his team into a one-point lead.

Drilling the kick in challenging conditions from long range just a week after landing a crucial shot at goal to send hosts France out of the competition by one point.

Despite facing several of his Leicester Tigers teammates in that semi-final, Pollard was more focused on his national duty that day than his club one.

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This didn’t stop his halfback partner at the Tigers, England legend Ben Youngs, from having a bit of pre-match banter.

Clearly knowing how laser-focused Pollard is when kicking at goal, Youngs tried to throw the flyhalf off his rhythm in the warm-ups.

Having placed the ball on the kicking tee with the ultimate precision and care, Pollard lined up his shot at goal. Just as he was steadying himself to approach the ball, Youngs flung a ‘misguided’ pass his way to knock the ball of the tee.

Clearly enjoying the moment both players had a good laugh and discussed it on the podcast Youngs co-hosts with fellow Leicester and England stalwart Dan Cole.

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In this episode of Walk the Talk, Jim Hamilton chats with double World Cup winner Damian de Allende about all things Springbok rugby, including RWC2023 and the upcoming Ireland series. Watch now for free on RugbyPass TV

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