Handré Pollard highlighted how important he can be to Leicester Tigers’ Heineken Champions Cup campaign as he tallied 14 points in their 24-18 success over Saracens in the Gallagher Premiership on Sunday.

The South African fly-half endured a slow start to his Leicester career amid a knee injury following his move from Montpellier Hérault Rugby last summer, missing the first two rounds of the Heineken Champions Cup pool stage.

But he returned for Round 3 and 4 last month, racking up 30 points over the two games as Leicester set up a Round of 16 contest at home to Edinburgh Rugby on March 31.

And Pollard was on song as Leicester saw off Premiership leaders Saracens at Mattioli Woods Welford Road, crossing for their opening try before going on to add three conversions and a penalty in the first half.

Further tries from Cameron Henderson and debutant Mike Brown saw Leicester well in control at the break, though Saracens, who host Ospreys in the Heineken Champions Cup Round of 16 on April 2, were on the board through an Alex Goode penalty and an Eroni Mawi score.

Leicester needed to produce a colossal defensive effort in the second half as they failed to notch any further points, and although an Alex Goode penalty and Alex Lewington’s interception try reduced the deficit for Saracens, the hosts held on for their sixth league win of the season.