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Saturday Aug 12, 2023

Springbok coach offers exceptional in-depth breakdown on Handre Pollard’s fitness

Springbok head coach Jacques Nienaber is now mere weeks away from leading his country at the Rugby World Cup.

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An integral member of the 2019 World Cup winning coaching team, Nienaber knows just what it takes to achieve at the highest level.

Whilst his coaching pedigree is well renowned, it is Nienaber’s experience as a qualified physiotherapist that is perhaps one of his most underrated assets.

This background and experience with the human body offers the Bok boss an interesting advantage when it comes to selecting players.

Whilst there is no doubt that every international set-up have highly qualified medical personnel, the selection of a team remains with the coaches.

Having the ability to accurately assess health data as a head coach could explain why at times the Springbok management have zigged when the public have expected them to zag.

Speaking about Pollard, Nienaber said to South African media outlet News 24, “There are a lot of rumours flying around about the squad, about this plot that we’re going to take four scrumhalves and we’re going to put Handre in.

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“But if you have a heart, how do you pick a guy and then tell him to fake an injury and get the other guy in? We would never do that. If there are no injuries, the whole 33 will go and come back.

“Handre is not injured now, and he trained with us for two sessions, but he’s still on his way back from a fitness perspective. He is at about 20 to 25 percent of the loads, having done an attack and defence session.

“It’s like having to prepare for the Comrades in three weeks, but only running 10kms in a week. You might walk and make it, but there will be luck involved.”

Once again highlighting their willingness to give a behind the scenes insight into the camp, this video proves just why the South African public are so invested in the Springboks.

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Nienaber explanation on pollard
by u/kylehimselfza in rugbyunion

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