Handre Pollard and Jasper Wiese have been thrown straight back into the action for Leicester Tigers after what the Springbok flyhalf calls a ‘chaotic’ week of World Cup celebrations.
Pollard and Wiese will both start for struggling Leicester in their Premiership clash with Harlequins on Saturday evening.
The Springbok duo only returned to training on Monday, having spent the past week with the Springboks celebrating the 2023 World Cup win.
In an exclusive interview with the Telegraph, Bok flyhalf Pollard, who kicked the winning points in the quarter-final, semi-final and final, opened up on the World Cup trophy tour, where the team took the Webb Ellis countrywide.
“It was a tough week,” says Pollard.
“A real tough week – but enjoyable. The first two, three days were the most enjoyable because it was just us as a team, still at the hotel – from Monday we travelled for a couple of days. It was just us together; once you land in South Africa it’s crazy, chaos, and you don’t really get the time together again.
“There wasn’t a lot of sleep at all. Some guys – I don’t know how they do it to be honest. I thought I was pretty decent at having a good time but I’m terrible at it looking at the standards they set. There were a few guys – Damian Willemse, Cheslin Kolbe didn’t hold back. As soon as somebody gets tired, the next guy jumps in and gets it going again. It was unbelievable.
“The first day or two was at the hotel before we left, then that first flight was pretty good, A380 upstairs with a bar, had some fun, then 8½ hours in the lounge. That was a long 8½ hours. That was the start of day three, you can just imagine. I can’t give too much detail.”
Pollard and Wiese won’t be the only Springboks making their return from the party, as centre Andre Esterhuizen has been named on the bench for Harlequins.
“We actually had a chat about it on our way back,” says Pollard.
“There’s going to be a gentlemen’s agreement somewhere, but knowing Andre that’s not going to be the case. I’m sure we’ll find each other at the bottom of a ruck and have a laugh.”
Photo: Steve Haag/Gallo Images