Nienaber: Pollard set to train with the Boks this week

Nienaber: Pollard set to train with the Boks this week

Springbok coach Jacques Nienaber has shared some more insight into Handre Pollard's situation following his omission from the Rugby World Cup squad.

The flyhalf is coming off a calf injury and was left out of the 33-man squad announced on Tuesday in Johannesburg, ahead of the team's departure for Europe, where they will face Wales and New Zealand in their pre-World Cup warm-up matches.

READ MORE: Springboks announce 33-man squad to do battle at Rugby World Cup in France

However, in a press conference after the squad unveiling, Nienaber gave an extensive injury update on Pollard as well as Lukhanyo Am, who have been named among the standby players for the showpiece in France.

"I think Handre, the big thing is [that] his rehab went well. The only thing is, he needs to now be able to go through a test match week, and the demands of a test match week," explained Nienaber.

"Let's say, in general, he has to cover a distance of 15-20km at 100 [percent], all the scientific stuff – he needs to handle that, and then produce a performance on Saturday, and then back it up the next week and the following week, without putting him in too early.

"[We can't have him] make the first week, second week, and then break down in the third week – I said to someone, you can't run the Comrades [Marathon], which is 90km but only train 5km per week – you might finish the Comrades, but you won't do it week in and week out.

"So, I hope you get the idea as to where I think Handre is. He will be able to start training with us, whereas Lukhanyo, we think it will be a two-to-four-week injury, but it's still very acute, so we'll probably get a better gauge at the back end of this week.

"But yes, that's why we're taking them with. We believe both of them will have the potential, maybe, to be fit and ready to go, possibly, for Scotland or the week after that."

Captain Siya Kolisi and prop Ox Nxche are also coming off injuries, but were named in the 33-man squad. Nienaber explained that the duo have already been training with the squad and are match fit.

"Every single guy we selected will be able to play a Test match this Saturday," added Nienaber.

"[Pollard] hasn't had a training session with us yet, and the difference between Siya, Ox and Handre is that Siya and Ox have been training with us, and have done the volume and intensity needed in a test week.

"Unfortunately, Handre hasn't had training with us yet. He will probably start training with us this week. But Handre can only come into the World Cup squad if there is an injury or a player does something to deselect himself."

The defending World Champions begin their campaign against Scotland on 10 September in Marseille.