One of the most recognized and feared backrowers of World Rugby has ended his Super Rugby career, with David Pocock aiming to secure a World Cup place.
After a long term battle with an injury that eroded his opportunities with the ACT Brumbies, the centurion has chosen to focus on being fully fit for an aim to attending his third Rugby World Cup tournament, in Japan.
Focused on returning to full fitness, Pocock told media that, “You’re doing everything you can [to earn a cap for your country].
“To pull on the Wallabies jersey again is obviously my goal”.
“It’s a huge honour and it’s something I love doing so I’ll be doing everything I can to get myself right and get into the best shape I can.”
David Pocock ends Super Rugby career
With 69 appearances with the Western Force, the dynamic loose forward reinvented the model of the Australian number seven. With speed and stamina, his performances heralded the new franchise and brought him to prominence on the world’s stage.
— David Pocock (@pocockdavid) May 28, 2019
The much-admired Pocock then exported his talents from West Australia to the ‘rugby capital’. Joining the ACT Brumbies in 2013, he has only earned 43 caps in that time (missing over 50 games through injury).
A combination of injury and a sabbatical period only saw him run out on less and less occasions, yet David Pocock has to be compared to the very best ‘rugby jackals’ that emerged in the early 2000s. Loose forwards that would overpower the tackle area, and revitalized an often compromised part of the modern game.
Think Richie McCaw – you think of David Pocock. Think Sam Warburton – you think of David Pocock. He and his combatants like George Smith were in the thick of the action and emboldened flankers to be over the ball in a split second.
Now, after 13 seasons of Super Rugby, his body has only so much to give. So being the thoughtful person; known for his intellect and conservative nature, he has put the Gold Wallabies jersey above the White, Blue, and Yellow of the Brumbies one – to the betterment of the 2019 Rugby World Cup campaign.
Pocock preparing for ‘one last RWC effort’
Struggling with a calf injury, and not able to give the Brumbies their just desserts, Pocock made the call to end his time in Super Rugby early. Now preparing for ‘one last RWC effort’ to claim the Webb Ellis Cup.
“At this stage, the goal is to get back into that jersey and contribute in that World Cup.”
The 31-year old will hope to work with head coach Micheal Cheika to be signed off as fit to make The Rugby Championship squad. That announcement will be made after the Super Rugby finals series. One where the Brumbies might have needed the loose forwards input, but feeling he was unable to deliver to his usual standard, the right decision was made to suit the player’s; and Rugby Australia’s goals.
“I took December and tried to get my body right and then on the first day of camp in Janaury, I strained my calf and since then it’s been an ongoing issue,” Pocock told Rugby.com.au.
“You’re putting pressure on yourself to get back out there, you want to be contributing and I think after talking to (McKellar and CEO Phil Thomson),
“I think the best thing now is to take the pressure off and actually get it right rather than continuing to do what I was doing.”
This week, David Pocock may have ended one of the most applauded Super Rugby careers yet, his end-goal is to assist the Wallabies to go one step higher in 2019.
After the third place in 2011, and a second place four years later, the player’s aim is to exceed the levels of New Zealand. To achieve his own dream of being on the top step of World Rugby.
Last Word on Rugby wishes the player – who has stood strong under the weight of so many who, mostly unsuccessfully, tried to shift his powerful stature – all the best and celebrate his 132 Super Rugby games.
“Main photo credit”
Embed from Getty Images