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Thu Apr 17 20:38:02 SAST 2014

Bulls confirm signing of Baby Bok star

CRAIG RAY | 03 July, 2012 07:190 Comments
2012 IRB Junior World Champs Final: South Africa v New Zealand
Handre Pollard of South Africa celebrates a drop goal during the IRB Junior World Championships final between South Africa and New Zealand at Newlands on June 22, 2012 in Cape Town, South Africa
Image by: Luke Walker / Gallo Images

THE Blue Bulls confirmed the signing of SA under-20 flyhalf Handre Pollard on Monday, weeks after news of the schoolboy’s move had been published around the country.

In a twist of irony, the 18-year-old Pollard will captain Western Province against the Blue Bulls at Craven Week in Port Elizabeth in the main match of the tournament next Tuesday.

If Pollard has a poor game against his future employers he will be hammered by sections of the Cape media and fans who could accuse him of holding back against the Bulls. They are angry that the WP Rugby Union has let such a talented player slip through its grasp.

And if he has a blinder those same critics will vent more anger that he is leaving.

Pollard will take up his contract with the Pretoria based union next year after matriculating at Paarl Gymnasium in the Western Cape.

Pollard, arguably the most sought after schoolboy player since Bismarck du Plessis was at Grey College, was one of the stars of the SA under-20 team that won the Junior World Championships last month. He scored 42 points including 12 in the final against New Zealand, which the Baby Boks won 22-16.

Pollard will join fellow SA under-20 teammates Shaun Adendorff, Wian Liebenberg, William Small-Smith and Jan Serfontein at the Blue Bulls.

“We encouraged, through our scouting process, a possible move to the Blue Bulls after his school studies way back in 2010, when Handre played in the Grant Khomo Week for under-16 players,” Bulls chief executive Barend van Graan said.

“What impressed us then was his cool head under pressure and the maturity of his general play and decision making. His performance during the JWC confirmed that potential and we are excited to have him in our structures later this year.”

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Bulls confirm signing of Baby Bok star

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