Durban – Springbok flyhalf Handre Pollard is set to leave French club Montpellier for English Premiership club Leicester, according to reports from England.
Pollard became the world’s best-paid player when he joined Montpellier after the 2019 World Cup but his time in France has been plagued by injury and long absences to play for his country, so he possibly has not given the club their money's worth.
His contract expires at the end of the current Top 14 season and both parties appear happy for him to move on. He has not been offered a contract extension.
The 27-year-old has apparently turned down a lucrative offer from a Japanese club for a future with the English giants, who are embarking on a bold new rebuilding programme and they want Pollard to be a central figure in their plans.
The news of Pollard’s move to England was broken on Leicester’s “The Rolling Maul” podcast, which goes out to their fans.
“The word on the street is that Pollard is a done deal and we will be announcing him probably Thursday this week. I’ve had that from two different sources,” co-presenter Elliot Butlin.
“The two people who have advised me that it’s happening are pretty trustworthy guys.”
Pollard turned down an offer from Japan because he is impressed by Leicester head coach Steve Borthwick’s ambitious plans for him at the club.
“The proof is in the pudding, we will have to keep our eyes open to see if it happens this week, if the rumours are to be believed, we are about to sign Pollard. Salary for about £600k, which is considerably less than what Japan was offering, which was £1m, so he’s coming not for the money but for the project.
“Apparently the presentation that was given to him by Steve and the club is was what sold it to him, he was really impressed by what we were saying and he’s buying into the project and the journey we are embarking on.”
Pollard is the third-highest points scorer for the Springboks. He has scored 601 points in 60 Tests. Percy Montgomery tops the list (893 in 102 Tests) and second is Morne Steyn (742 in 68).