Bok coach has faith in captain Pollard, explains Kolisi’s absence: ‘A plan we want to execute’

6 July 2022

Siya Kolisi’s off-weekend for Saturday’s second Test between the Springboks and Wales in Bloemfontein can hardly be considered a “luxury”.

National coach Jacques Nienaber made that point plainly clear after installing Handre Pollard as South Africa’s skipper for a combination that features an almighty 19 changes.

“We’re not giving Siya a rest, we have a plan that we want to execute. We discussed our plan. It’s purely a case of having boxes to tick and having a certain idea of how we want to eventually end this series without compromising performance. That’s the big challenge.”

Last week’s narrow 32-29 victory at Loftus has indeed allowed the Boks to implement their plan of using all 42 players in the current national group during this three-match series as the part of their long-term preparation for next year’s World Cup in France.

The pedigree of Kolisi invariably means that his absence is a prominent talking point ahead of the match, but there’s definitely no doubt among Nienaber and co that Pollard, the loose forward’s official deputy, will make his presence felt.

“Handre is a leader,” said the Bok mentor.

“He’s our vice-captain, so it’s a normal role for him. He’s definitely a natural choice for this responsibility.”

Source: News24




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