Handré Pollard (born 11 March 1994) is a South African rugby union player for the South Africa national team and Montpellier in the French Top 14. His regular position is fly-half. Occasionally he will also play as a centre.
Pollard kicking a conversion at the 2015 Rugby World Cup
|Date of birth||11 March 1994|
|Place of birth||Somerset West, South Africa|
|Height||1.88 m (6 ft 2 in)|
|Weight||97 kg (214 lb; 15 st 4 lb)|
|Rugby union career|
Pollard earned a provincial call-up as early as primary school level, when he was selected in the Western Province squad for the Under-13 Craven Week competition in 2007. He also represented them at the Under-16 Grant Khomo Week in 2010, before playing at the Under-18 Craven Week competitions in 2011 and 2012.
In July 2012, it was announced that Pollard would make the move to Gauteng to join Pretoria-based team the Blue Bulls at the start of the 2013 season. His first involvement in rugby in Pretoria came for university side UP Tuks during the 2013 Varsity Cup competition. He did not play in the first match of the season, but then made three substitute appearances in their next three matches before being selected in the run-on side for their last three matches in the round-robin stage, the semi-final and the final, starting all those matches as inside centre. He was the main kicker for the UP Tuks team and scored 68 points in his side's run to the final, making him the tournament's second-highest points scorer behind UJ's Kobus de Kock. He was also a key player in the final of the competition as he kicked five conversions and a penalty to contribute 17 points in UP Tuks' 44–5 victory as they retained the trophy they won in 2012 Varsity Cup.
During the 2013 Varsity Cup season, he was also included in the Blue Bulls side that participated in the 2013 Vodacom Cup competition. He made his provincial debut for the Blue Bulls on 9 March 2013 against Griquas in Kimberley. He came off the bench in the 62nd minute and scored two late conversions in their 40–32 victory. His first start for the Blue Bulls came after the 2013 Varsity Cup, when he was named in the run-on side for their match against the Eastern Province Kings in the quarter final of the competition. He scored eleven points, but could not prevent his side slipping to a 31–34 defeat.
In June 2013, after signing a contract extension to keep him at the Blue Bulls until 2017, he was also named in their Currie Cup side for the 2013 Currie Cup Premier Division season. He made his Currie Cup debut on 31 August 2013, starting for the Blue Bulls in their match against the Sharks in Durban. Despite getting his first Currie Cup points after just six minutes – converting an Akona Ndungane try – the Blue Bulls suffered a 34–18 defeat in that match. Pollard started a total of six matches in this competition, scoring 62 points to finish as the Blue Bulls' top points scorer in the competition and eighth overall and also made four appearances for the Blue Bulls U21 side in the 2013 Under-21 Provincial Championship, scoring 52 points.
He was included in the Bulls squad for the 2014 Super Rugby season and made his debut in the first round of the competition in a 31–16 defeat to the Sharks in Durban, also scoring his first Super Rugby points by kicking a late conversion. Initially used mainly as a substitute, he made his first Super Rugby start during their Round 12 match against South African rivals the Cheetahs. Pollard had an eventful match, being sent to the sin-bin in the first half and contributing ten points with the boot as the Bulls ran out 26–21 winners.
In 2015, Pollard extended his contract with the Blue Bulls until the end of the 2019 season.
In June 2015, the Blue Bulls announced that Pollard would join Japanese Top League side NTT DoCoMo Red Hurricanes on a three-month deal between November 2015 and January 2016 for the 2015–16 Top League season, but would return to the Bulls prior to the 2016 Super Rugby season. This was later confirmed by the Japanese side.
He earned a call-up to the South African Under-20 team that won the 2012 IRB Junior World Championship on home soil. Despite not playing in their first match against Ireland, he started their remaining four matches. He kicked five conversions in their match against Italy and four conversions in their match against England to help secure a semi-final berth for South Africa. Three conversions and two penalties followed in their 35–3 semi-final victory over Argentina to see the Baby Boks through to their first ever final against four-time champions New Zealand. Once again, the boot of Pollard was largely responsible for their 22–16 victory in the final as he kicked four penalties and a drop-goal to lift the trophy for South Africa for the first time. Pollard finished as fourth top scorer overall in the competition with 42 points.
He was included in a training group that toured Argentina in preparation for the 2013 IRB Junior World Championship before being included in the final squad for the 2013 IRB Junior World Championship in France. Playing at inside centre, Pollard's kicking let him down in their 97–0 demolition of the United States in their opening match, scoring a penalty and one conversion out of six attempts before the kicking duties passed to Robert du Preez. He did not kick at all in their match against England, but a switch back to fly-half for their final match against hosts France saw Pollard contribute eleven points with the boot as they won the match 26–19 to top their pool and qualify for a semi-final against Wales. Wales scored an 18–17 victory over the defending champions in their semi-final match with Pollard scoring seven points. He rounded off his tournament by kicking a penalty and four conversions in the third-placed play-off match against New Zealand to finish the tournament with 34 points.
He was included in a South Africa Under-20 squad for the third time for the 2014 IRB Junior World Championship, and also named captain of the side. As first-choice fly-half and kicker, this tournament proved to be Pollard's most prolific. He kicked seven conversions in their 61–5 victory over Scotland in their opening match. Three penalties, two conversions and his first ever try in the Junior World Championships helped South Africa record a 33–24 victory over New Zealand in their second pool match and he kicked three conversions as South Africa clinched their third consecutive semi-final place with a 21–8 victory over Samoa.
They faced New Zealand again in the semi-final and Pollard helped South Africa secure their fourth consecutive victory over the Baby Blacks. He opened the scoring for South Africa with a 20th-minute try and also scored three conversions and two penalties in a 32–25 victory. He scored a further ten points in the final as South Africa lost 20–21 to England to finish runners-up in the competition.
Pollard was also briefly the leading points scorer in the history of the competition. During the semi-final matches, both Pollard (with 131 points) and Argentina's Patricio Fernández broke the record previously held by England's Tom Homer. However, the 26 points scored by Fernández in their 9th-place play-off match against Scotland meant that he became the new record holder with a total of 155 points, with Pollard in second place with 141 points.
His performances also earned him a nomination for the 2014 Young Player of the Year award, alongside Nathan Earle, Tevita Li and Garry Ringrose. At the conclusion of the tournament, Pollard was announced as the winner of the award.
At the conclusion of the 2014 IRB Junior World Championship, Pollard was called up to the senior Springbok squad for their final match of the 2014 incoming tours series against Scotland. With Springbok fly-halves Patrick Lambie and Johan Goosen both injured and Morné Steyn withdrawn from the squad by French club side Stade Français, Pollard was named as the starting fly-half for their match against Scotland. He subsequently made his international debut on 28 June 2014 in Port Elizabeth, contributing thirteen points (five conversions and a penalty) to help South Africa convincingly win the match 55–6.
A few weeks later, Pollard was included in a 30-man squad named by Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer for the 2014 Rugby Championship. He was named as the fly-half for the run-on side in their opening match of the competition against Argentina at Loftus Versfeld; within two minutes of making his Rugby Championship debut, he scored his first points in this competition by converting Ruan Pienaar's early try. He also scored a penalty a few minutes later to help the Springboks to a 13–6 victory. He was the starting fly-half in five of the Springboks' six matches during the competition – Morné Steyn starting their match against Australia in Perth – and was a key player in the Springboks' final match of the competition. In particular he scored two tries (his first at international level) and kicked a further nine points as the Springboks beat New Zealand 27–25 in Johannesburg, to help end New Zealand's 22-match unbeaten run dating back almost two years and their first ever defeat in The Rugby Championship competition since its expansion in 2012. He scored a total of 43 points in the competition, in joint second place with Australian Bernard Foley on the point scoring list and nine points behind tournament top scorer, Argentina's Nicolás Sánchez.
Pollard was named in South Africa's squad for the 2019 Rugby World Cup. South Africa went on to win the tournament, defeating England in the final. After missing a penalty attempt in the second minute of the game, Pollard thereafter converted six penalty kicks, missed an eighth attempt, but then converted two tries for a personal haul of 22 points.
Pollard's test match record is as follows:
Pld = Games Played, W = Games Won, D = Games Drawn, L = Games Lost, Tri = Tries Scored, Con = Conversions, Pen = Penalties, DG = Drop Goals, Pts = Points Scored
|1||New Zealand||Johannesburg, South Africa||Ellis Park||2014 Rugby Championship||4 October 2014||Won 27–25|
|2||New Zealand||Johannesburg, South Africa||Ellis Park||2014 Rugby Championship||4 October 2014||Won 27–25|
|3||Wales||Cardiff, Wales||Millennium Stadium||2 December 2017||Lost 22–24|
|4||Scotland||Edinburgh, Scotland||Murrayfield||17 November 2018||Won 26–20|
|5||Argentina||Salta, Argentina||Estadio Padre Ernesto Martearena||2019 Rugby Championship||10 August 2019||Won 13-46|
|6||Argentina||Salta, Argentina||Estadio Padre Ernesto Martearena||2019 Rugby Championship||10 August 2019||Won 13-46|
The 2013 Currie Cup Premier Division was the 75th season in the competition since it started in 1889 and was contested from 10 August to 26 October 2013. The tournament (known as the Absa Currie Cup Premier Division for sponsorship reasons) was the top tier of South Africa's premier domestic rugby union competition.2013 Under-21 Provincial Championship
The 2013 ABSA Under-21 Provincial Championship will be contested from 12 July to 26 October 2013. The tournament will feature the Under-21 players from the fourteen provincial rugby unions in South Africa.2013 Varsity Cup
The 2013 Varsity Cup was contested from 4 February to 8 April 2013. The tournament (also known as the FNB Varsity Cup presented by Steinhoff International for sponsorship reasons) was the sixth season of the Varsity Cup, an annual inter-university rugby union competition featuring eight South African universities.
The tournament was won by UP Tuks for the second consecutive season; they beat Maties 44–5 in the final played on 8 April 2013. No team was relegated to the second-tier Varsity Shield competition for 2014.2014 Super Rugby season
The 2014 Super Rugby season is the fourth season of the 15-team format for the Super Rugby competition involving teams from Australia, New Zealand and South Africa. For sponsorship reasons, this competition is known as Asteron Life Super Rugby in Australia, Investec Super Rugby in New Zealand and Vodacom Super Rugby in South Africa. Including its past incarnations as Super 12 and Super 14, this is the 19th season for the Southern Hemisphere's premier transnational club competition. The conference games will take place every weekend from 15 February until 12 July (with a three-week break between rounds 16 and 17 for internationals games), followed by the finals series, culminating in the grand final on 2 August. The winners of the 2014 Super Rugby Season were the New South Wales Waratahs2015 Rugby World Cup Pool B
Pool B of the 2015 Rugby World Cup began on 19 September and was completed on 11 October 2015. The pool was composed of South Africa, Samoa and Scotland – who all qualified automatically for the tournament due to finishing in the top three positions in their pools in 2011 – joined by the top Asian qualifier, Japan, and the second American qualifier, United States. South Africa and Scotland qualified for the quarter finals.2015 Rugby World Cup statistics
This article documents the statistics of the 2015 Rugby World Cup which took place in England from 18 September to 31 October.2015 Super Rugby season
The 2015 Super Rugby season was the 20th season of Super Rugby and the fifth season featuring an expanded 15-team format. For sponsorship reasons, this competition was known as Asteron Life Super Rugby in Australia, Investec Super Rugby in New Zealand and Vodacom Super Rugby in South Africa. The round-robin matches took place every weekend from 13 February until 13 June, followed by the finals series and culminating in the final on 4 July. This was the final season that featured a 15-team format.2018 Bulls (rugby union) season
In 2018, the Bulls participated in the 2018 Super Rugby competition, the 23rd edition of the competition since its inception in 1996. They were included in the South African Conference of the competition, along with the Jaguares, Lions, Sharks and Stormers.
The Bulls won six and lost ten of their matches during the regular season of the competition to finish bottom of the South African Conference, and in 12th place overall.2018 England rugby union tour of South Africa
In June 2018, England played a three-test series against South Africa as part of the 2018 mid-year rugby union tests. The series was part of the sixth year of the global rugby calendar established by World Rugby, which runs through to 2019.2018 Rugby Championship
The 2018 Rugby Championship was the seventh edition of the expanded annual southern hemisphere Rugby Championship, featuring Argentina, Australia, South Africa and New Zealand. The competition is operated by SANZAAR, a joint venture of the four countries' national unions.
The tournament continued to use the same sequence of games across the schedule, starting on 18 August with Australia hosting reigning champions New Zealand and South Africa hosting Argentina, and ending after eight weeks (six rounds and two bye weeks) on 6 October when New Zealand visited South Africa and Australia played in Argentina.
New Zealand won the Championship for the sixth time after a 35-17 win over Argentina in Buenos Aires on 29 September.2019 Bulls (rugby union) season
In 2019, the Bulls participated in the 2019 Super Rugby competition, the 24th edition of the competition since its inception in 1996. They were included in the South African Conference of the competition, along with the Jaguares, Lions, Sharks and Stormers.
The Bulls won eight, drew two and lost six of their matches during the regular season of the competition to finish second in the South African Conference, and in 5th place overall to qualify for the finals as a wildcard team. They lost in their quarterfinal match to the Hurricanes.2019 Lions (Super Rugby) season
In 2019, the Lions participated in the 2019 Super Rugby competition, the 24th edition of the competition since its inception in 1996. They were included in the South African Conference of the competition, along with the Bulls, Jaguares, Sharks and Stormers.
The Lions won eight and lost eight of their matches during the regular season of the competition to finish fourth in the South African Conference, and in 8th place overall, failing to qualify for the finals.2019 Rugby Championship
The 2019 Rugby Championship was the eighth edition of the annual southern hemisphere Rugby Championship, featuring Argentina, Australia, South Africa and New Zealand. The competition is operated by SANZAAR, a joint venture of the four countries' national unions.
The tournament schedule was similar to that of the 2015 edition, being shortened due to the World Cup.
New Zealand was the three-time back-to-back defending champions entering this years Championship. However, South Africa claimed their fourth title, their first since the inception of the Rugby Championship and their first Southern Hemisphere title since 2009.
They became the third team to claim the expanded Southern Hemisphere championship, following New Zealand and Australia.2019 Rugby World Cup Final
The 2019 Rugby World Cup Final was a rugby union match played on 2 November 2019 at the International Stadium Yokohama in Yokohama, Japan. It marked the culmination of the 2019 Rugby World Cup and was played between England and South Africa, a rematch of the 2007 Rugby World Cup Final.
The match saw South Africa claim their third Rugby World Cup title with a 32–12 victory, with tries from Makazole Mapimpi and Cheslin Kolbe adding to six penalties and two conversions from Handré Pollard. The official player of the match was South Africa's number eight, Duane Vermeulen.The match was the United Kingdom's most watched TV broadcast in 2019 with a peak audience of 12.8 million watching on ITV.2019 Rugby World Cup knockout stage
The knockout stage of the 2019 Rugby World Cup began on 19 October and will conclude on 2 November with the final at the International Stadium Yokohama in Yokohama, Japan.2019 Rugby World Cup statistics
This article documents the statistics of the 2019 Rugby World Cup which was held in Japan from 20 September to 2 November.
Russia's Kirill Golosnitsky scored the first try of the tournament and Kotaro Matsushima of Japan scored the first hat-trick of the tournament. Camille Lopez of France scored the first drop goal of the tournament. Dan Biggar of Wales scored the fastest drop goal in Rugby World Cup history, after only 35 seconds in a pool match, Cobus Reinach of South Africa scored the fastest hat-trick ever, scoring his 3rd try after only 20 minutes in the pool stage.List of 2018 Super Rugby matches
This article contains a list of all matches played during the 2018 Super Rugby regular season.Paarl Gimnasium
Paarl Gimnasium is a high school in Paarl, Western Cape, South Africa.
Rev. van Lingen founded the school in the centre of town in 1858. The school has produced some of South Africa's top rugby players, including Schalk Burger, Jean De Villiers, Marius Joubert, Handré Pollard and De Wet Barry. Other alumni include the theologian Stephanus Jacobus du Toit.
The primary school section of Gimnasium was founded in 1858 as a Dutch Christian school for boys, with the high school being founded much later. In the mid-1930s the school's language of education shifted to Afrikaans. After the high school section was completed the school enrolled its first female student.
Paarl Gimnasium High School has a large sporting program and takes part in the interschools tournament against Paarl Boys' High School, an event which attracts tens of thousands of spectators every year.South Africa national under-18 rugby union team
The South African national under-18 rugby union team – often referred to as the South African Schools rugby union team – is the under-18 side of the South Africa national rugby union team.
The team is selected every year at the conclusion of the various rugby union youth weeks and are predominantly made up from players that played at the Under-18 Craven Week tournament for their respective sides.
South Africa – current squad
Montpellier – current squad