Pollard can be the chief architect in the Springboks' rebuilding phase

Bulls flyhalf Handre Pollard tries to go through the tackles the Hurricanes' TJ Perenara and Toby Smith in a Super Rugby match earlier this year. PHILL MAGAKOE/AFP/Getty Images

Running into Springbok flyhalf Henry Honiball's channel in the 90s was a big no-no. In the era of shoulder pads, Honnibal earned the nickname 'Lem' (blade) for his ability to cut attackers in half with his fearless and aggressive tackling without protection.

When debating defensive systems during a Springbok camp in 1993, Honiball had a spectacularly uncomplicated answer when asked what he thought about their defensive systems.

"Why don't we just tackle the hell out of anyone who comes near us?" he said.

But Honiball was more than just an effective defender in the flyhalf channel. Much more than that. The Free State farmer revolutionised flyhalf play in South Africa.

The unfussy Honiball almost played like a third loose forward, as he took the ball really flat and attacked the gainline with plenty of purpose and aggression. Mix that in with his underrated distribution skills, and the end product was a try such as the one Pieter Rossouw scored against the All Blacks in Wellington in 1998, which helped the Boks record their first post-apartheid victory in New Zealand.

It's no secret that the All Blacks didn't like playing against the tough-tackling, gainline-attacking Honiball because of his larger-than-life presence in that No 10 channel.

Honiball is one of a few Springboks who has won more games against the All Blacks than he has lost -- winning four Tests and losing two. The Boks never lost when Honiball was at flyhalf. In his six matches against New Zealand, he played four times at flyhalf and twice at inside centre.

But, for all his physical attributes, Honiball also had a wonderful feel for the game and his game management was superb. It's why he was also such a good inside centre.

It's something that most people forget when talking about the great man. The flyhalf knew when to attack flat, when to unleash the likes of André Snyman, Rossouw and Percy Montgomery on the outside or when to play for territory.

These days, though, the retired Honiball finds himself on the golf course in his home of town of Escourt -- he won the local golf club's championship in 2014.

Honiball was one of a kind as a rugby player during the 90s, but South Africa is well stocked in that department in 2018 with all the first-choice No 10s playing well at their franchises.

This past weekend, the two current players who best fit the description as Honiball's doppelgängers, faced each other in what was essentially a Springbok trial. The Bulls' Handré Pollard took on Rob du Preez of the Sharks and came out on top in the battle of the flyhalves.

As is often the case, the flyhalf whose pack delivers the best ball will always be at an advantage, and it was Pollard's tight forwards who produced the goods in Durban. But you still have to take the right options and execute well under pressure to make that quality ball count. Pollard did just that, which should make him the favourite the wear the Bok No 10 jersey against England in June.

Du Preez has been solid this year since moving to the Sharks from the Stormers and showed on their tour of New Zealand that he can be a factor. He is also a solidly built flyhalf who can take the ball to the line hard and is an excellent distributor, while his kicking game has come along well this year.

Lions flyhalf Elton Jantjies is a different player to Pollard and Du Preez, as he relies on his quick feet, slight of hand and speed when attacking the gainline, instead of power.

The Bok flyhalf has been a top player in Super Rugby over the last few years, but he hasn't been able to transfer that form into the Test arena. Jantjies regularly mixes the sublime with the daft, which undermines his undoubted abilities as a rugby player.

Damian Willemse, the Stormers' 19-year-old flyhalf prodigy, has Honiball's heart and determination to go with his unmatched running ability as a flyhalf.

Willemse is one of the most naturally gifted footballers in the country. He is quick and can step his way past defenders when he takes the ball flat, but he has also been dumping forwards on their backs when he has to defend.

However, Pollard's classy all-round display against the Sharks this past weekend, as well as his consistent form since the start of the competition, makes him the front runner for the Bok jersey.

Pollard has all of Honiball's attributes, and is probably a better kicker than the former Sharks and Free State flyhalf. But what currently sets him apart from his peers is his superior game management.

Pollard doesn't make a lot of costly mistakes, which can get you into trouble against teams such as England and New Zealand. This is something which counts in his favour in a straight shootout with Jantjies, Du Preez and Willemse.

He took some brilliant options against the Sharks -- that little chip for Warrick Gelant's first try was a stroke of genius -- and he adapted his game when the rain started coming down in the second half.

Another thing that will count in Pollard's favour is his past performances against the All Blacks.

The Bulls man doesn't have a win record against the Kiwis -- one win out of three matches -- but like Honiball he has given them a tough time when he plays.

Pollard is not scared to get stuck in physically, and has scored two tries from close range against New Zealand because he is hard to stop close to the line.

The way he took the ball up flat in last year's Test between the two teams at Newlands also put the All Blacks on the back foot, and for once they looked a bit flustered on defence against a South African team.

The Boks head into an important series against England in just under two months' time, looking to rebuild after six disappointing years under Heyneke Meyer and Allister Coetzee.

But new Bok coach Rassie Erasmus needs to look no further than Pollard to be his chief architect on the field. He is the new 'Lem', who leaves his shoulder pads in the dressing room and everything else out on the field.