South Africa starlet Handre Pollard could be the key to success for the Springboks at the World Cup later this month, after a somewhat disappointing Championship, epitomised by a loss to up and coming Argentina.
Pollard burst onto the scene in 2014, making his debut in a win over Scotland, and has gone from strength-to-strength, establishing himself as the clear first choice at number 10 for Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer.
During his early introduction to international rugby, he famously engineered a priceless victory over the All Blacks, scoring two tries and kicking nine points in a narrow 27-25 win, and this performance helped end New Zealand's 22 game unbeaten streak.
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Pollard could be the key to breathing life into South Africa side that contains a number of ageing players. He may look like a young man fresh out of school, but he is wise beyond his years, and has already shown that he is capable of becoming a world class stand off.
He is quite the complete package, he is six foot two and strong as an ox weighing over 15 stone, and has been physically compared to a number of famous Springbok fly halves. But what sets him apart is his enigmatic skill set, an armoury that contains silky footwork, a class change of pace and a natural rugby brain able to play where the space is.
Not only is he a natural 10 with the ball in his hand, but he possesses a hammer place kick, and kicking out of hand he has been compared to the likes of Francois Steyn. In his 13 international caps, he has scored 95 points averaging about seven points a game.
And despite an impressive Championship, South Africa failed to register a single win and still managed to finish in third place thanks to losing bonus points against Australia and New Zealand.
This will have hopefully galvanised the Springboks as they go into a World Cup group that contains Samoa, Scotland, Japan and the USA. On paper, they should win this group with relative ease, but after exhibiting poor form in the recent Championship, these up and coming nations will be hoping to cause an upset.
Fans will be optimistic that Pollard can light up the world, and help to lead them to success, as they have not won the World Cup since 2007 beating England in the final in Paris.
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