Handre Pollard hops back across ocean to rejoin Bulls
Coach Human hopes flyhalf can lift Bulls for Highlands game
Springbok flyhalf Handre Pollard rejoined the Bulls in New Zealand on Tuesday ahead of their Super Rugby meeting with the Highlanders in Dunedin on Friday.
The game is the last of a four-match tour through Australia and New Zealand. Pollard went home after the first — a much-needed win over the Melbourne Rebels — after suffering a calf injury in training.
He missed the subsequent defeat by the Brumbies in Canberra and last Friday’s draw with the Blues, which revived the Bulls’ hope of a playoff place.
Coach Pote Human called Pollard the best flyhalf in world rugby and will be counting on his return to give the side a lift amid injury woes. The Bulls have already lost Duane Vermeulen, who went back to SA after the first two matches of the trip in terms of an agreement with SA Rugby to rest him with the World Cup in Japan approaching.
Both Rosko Specman and Paul Schoeman have been ruled out, while there is also concern about Warrick Gelant’s availability for the match. Specman sustained a hamstring strain and Schoeman suffered a knee injury in the 22-22 draw last weekend in Auckland. Both players have returned to SA. Fullback Gelant has a hamstring strain, and his availability will be confirmed this week.
The Bulls are third in Super Rugby’s SA Conference, seven points off leaders the Jaguares, with two matches left in their regular season programme.
Their New Zealand hosts are also still in the running for a wildcard place in the playoffs.