“Handre Pollard will thrive with the Tigers” – Joel Stransky

1995 World Cup winner Joel Stransky is delighted to see South African hub Handre Pollard join the Leicester Tigers after being limited to the Springbok game plan he “must hate”.

Former opening half Bok Stransky is no stranger to Leicester Tigers having made 73 appearances for the England side in the late 1990s.

He is convinced the move to Leicester will be good for Pollard’s game.

Opportunity to flourish

“I think when he comes to the Tigers he will hopefully have the opportunity to blossom again,” Stransky told Leicester Mercury. “He’s a really cool young man, with so much talent. I think he will thrive in Leicester. It’s a club that really embraces the players, the people, it’s a community that embraces the club and its player.

“I think the Springboks have evolved into a game plan that’s great with the laws of the game, that’s great for the makeup of our team. There are two ways to pick your team and ours is basically to pick the biggest and strongest pack of attackers possible and quick backs and then we play a game plan that is dominated by the forward. It doesn’t give number ten too much control or influence.

“As much as in his early days he shone and been exceptional, over the last couple of seasons I guess if you were to have a calm conversation with him, completely in private I guess his satisfaction levels at the work are quite low.

“He can’t admit anywhere in public that he doesn’t support the game plan, but I can’t believe he enjoys playing the game plan. I can’t believe he gets great satisfaction from playing this way, it’s completely foreign to a player of his level.

Stransky added, “He has an incredible skill set. He’s a bit bigger than most half-flies. He attacks the winning line, he’s nimble, he’s strong, he has a great unloading game. He reads the game well when given permission to play it. His kicking game is really solid. He is a truly complete footballer. He’s just playing on a team where that team’s success is based on a game plan that doesn’t suit him.

“I think he has the worst job satisfaction in the world as a rugby player right now. He has to hate playing in a game plan where he doesn’t get the ball, where he doesn’t have control.

“There’s no opportunity to run down the defensive lines and make backline moves and free people like Damian de Allende and Lukhanyo Am. To stand there and watch the scrum half hit 90 percent of the ball. , he must want to tear his hair out and throw up on the ground.

“I think for him [joining Leicester] is the opportunity to go and play rugby in a rugby club in a rugby town in a rugby environment, where he will be loved and respected and he will hopefully be able to under the guidance of the coaching staff Tigers doing an amazing job, playing a game plan really suits him.


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