Springbok flyhalf Handre Pollard has been hospitalized to treat a broken cheekbone suffered in the Rugby World Cup final against England.
Pollard will miss the series of Victory Parades that will take place in the coming week on the Springboks Trophy Tour. The Boks will begin the tour in Gauteng, taking the Webb Ellis Trophy to the streets of Tshwane and Johannesburg.
The number 10 was immense in the final, providing impetus on attack and covering the English high-balls beautifully which allowed Willie Le Roux to play a more attacking game. Pollard missed the first shot at goal of the night but thereafter found his range impeccably to contribute 22 of the Springboks 32 points.
Pollard confirmed his hospitalization and injury in an Instagram post.
“Not quite the trophy tour I had in mind. I would do this a 1000 times over to hold Bill again.” read a caption over a picture of a banged up Pollard lying in a hospital bed.
Pollard’s World Cup
In six matches at the Rugby World Cup Pollard contributed 69 points kicking 16 penalties, 9 conversions and a drop goal.
Pollard’s distribution stats in Japan tell the story of a smart attacking flyhalf with the bulk of the ball he received being sent on to either the Springboks battering ram Damian de Allende or out wide to the dangerous outside backs.
He wasn’t afraid to test the line and mix it with some of the most physical players in the world, which probably led to his broken cheekbone.
Before the final Pollard nailed the winning penalty kick in a semifinal match against Wales that will fade from memory like a starter of dry bread before a Sunday roast.
Pollard said after the victory against Wales that those pressure moments were what top players train and prepare for and he produced a terrific final performance. He was one of a number of Springboks who put in their best performance of the tournament in the biggest game.
“You try to forget the situation and the external factors but of course there’s pressure,” said Pollard after the Springboks beat Wales 19-16 in Yokohama.
“But that’s why we train so hard. You imagine those scenarios over and over in your head.”
Pollard missed a few kicks in the pool phase but was on song in the final two matches of the tournament to help power the Springboks to the trophy.