For a large part of last year, it appeared that Pollard could face a real fight for the No 10 jersey in 2023, with an extended injury absence opening the door for young Damian Willemse to make his mark as the Springboks’ first-choice flyhalf last season.

In 2022, Pollard featured in just five Tests, but he has recently enjoyed an impressive return to top form for English club Leicester Tiger, and he suddenly and certainly looks well-placed to reclaim his starting position when the Rugby Championship kicks off in July.

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In an interview with the Daily Maverick, the 29-year-old has interestingly opened up on how the move to Leicester has given him a new lease on life.

“This move to Leicester has given me a lot of energy. A couple of years ago, I don’t think I could have imagined that I’d get to 2023 and be this excited about my career. But with all that has happened recently, I feel like I’m 21 again in terms of my love for the game.

“It’s not a conscious decision you make to be in form or out of form – or to play to your potential. Sometimes you just find that a certain system or culture will bring out the best in you,” he added.

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The 2023 World Cup is now fast approaching, and there are sure to be some selection headaches when it comes to selecting the wider 33-man squad, let alone when it comes to narrowing it down to a matchday 23.

In particular, the selection at flyhalf will be of interest as Pollard returns to the mix.

It’s a position where depth has been built as Willemse and Manie Libbok have shown some of their qualities, but the experience of Pollard will be hard to replace.

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