WP in tug-o'-war for Baby Bok

Wed, 20 Jun 2012 14:41
Large handre pollard sa u20 630

South African Under-20 flyhalf Handré Pollard is in high demand, with the Sharks and the Bulls trying to lure him from Cape Town.

South African Under-20 flyhalf Handré Pollard is in high demand.

WP Rugby (Pty) Ltd, the professional arm of the Western Province Rugby Football Union, confirmed that the 18-year-old has had offers from both the Bulls and Sharks.

However, the Cape Town union has denied he had already signed with the Bulls and added that they are determined to hold onto the schoolboy protege.

This follows media reports on Wednesday which suggested the 2012 WP Craven Week captain, Pollard, had signed for the Bulls.

Pollard has been part of the WP Rugby set-up from a young age, having been identified and represented WP at Under-13, Under-16 and Under-18 levels.

Last year already he was invited by senior coach Allister Coetzee to train with the Stormers in November, as they prepared for this year's Super Rugby competition, something that had not been done before with such a young player.

Handré Pollard's father, André, who also captained the U18 WP Craven Week side in 1978, confirmed the approaches from the Bulls and Sharks.

However, he also dismissed the suggestion that his son had already signed, Pollard Snr saying: "The Bulls and the Sharks have both made good offers to Handré.

"However, we have not made a decision and will wait until July. Right now, Handré must focus on his rugby," he said in reference to Friday's IRB Junior World Championships Final between South Africa and New Zealand.

“The WPRU has played an important role in the development of Handré as a player and we appreciate that.

"I am a staunch supporter of WP and have come a long way with the union. It is something very special that Handré has now also been appointed Craven Week captain.

"However, at the end of the day he will have to make the final call on where he wants to continue his career."

WP Rugby said they have held numerous meetings with Pollard senior, dating back to August 2010, to secure the player's services for senior in the Province.

"In terms of the SARU rules and regulations, those unions [the Bulls and Sharks] would need to notify WP Rugby and afford the home union the opportunity to meet or beat their offers, before any deal could be concluded," WP said in a statement.

Pollard junior was called up to the SA U20 squad as a replacement for Cheetahs pivot Johan Goosen earlier this month and his star has been on the rise ever since.

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