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Springbok counts on De Villiers experience

Jean de Villiers has been out since May with a knee injury and hasn’t played a match since.

Springbok captain Jean de Villiers.  Picture: Christa Eybers/EWN

CAPE TOWN - Springbok flyhalf Handre Pollard will be relying on the experience of returning captain Jean de Villiers in their opening match of the Rugby Championship against Argentina on Saturday.

De Villiers has been out since May with a knee injury and goes into Saturday's match without having played at all.

Pollard made his debut in June against Scotland and says that de Villiers' influence is going to be crucial to his performance.

"Jean is a great leader and a great experienced guy and a great centre, so playing with him, it calms me down a lot and he'll chat to me during the game. Having Ruan Pienaar on my inside at scrumhalf, he's played about seventy test matches as well, so I'll have a lot of experience around me and they'll guide me through the game."

The 20 year old will be playing in only his second test match, after making his debut for the Springboks against Scotland in Port Elizabeth in June.

Coach Heyneke Meyer's opted to retain Pollard at flyhalf, ahead of the experienced Morne Steyn who starts on the bench.

But Pollard says that he'll be leaning on the experience of Morne Steyn ahead of Saturday's Rugby Championship opener against Argentina at Loftus.

Pollard says that Steyn has given him great support.

"Morne's such a great guy, he's a team guy. I always have a chat to Morne, he's and experienced guy and he's been around the block, I'll definitely go to him for advice."

The Bulls flyhalf adds that he's relishing the challenge of running out in front of the Loftus crowd.

Pollard, who led the Junior Springboks at the World Cup and was voted as the world's best junior player - says that he's had some time to reflect on how is career has taken off in 2014...

"I've been very blessed this year with everything that I've accomplished, and I think this last few weeks we had off I had a chance to sit back a bit and think about what happened. I enjoyed this whole year very much, a lot has happened.

"Like I said, it's a great honour and privilege to play for the Boks especially at Loftus. It's going to be special for me."

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