Force boosted by Pocock return
April 27, 2011
Pocock injured his knee against the Sharks in round three of Super Rugby © Getty Images
Wallabies star David Pocock is set to make his comeback for the Western Force against the Crusaders this weekend after seven weeks out with a knee injury.
Pocock has been on the sidelines since injuring his knee against the Sharks in round three. The 23-year-old trained strongly this week and is ready to play the full 80 minutes but has yet to learn the full extent of his role against the Crusaders in Perth on Saturday.
All Blacks and Crusaders flanker Richie McCaw, who has only played 29 minutes of rugby for the Crusaders this season, could also be ready for a return to action following a foot injury, setting up the prospect of an intriguing battle between two of the leading openside flankers in the game. And Pocock is relishing the idea of facing the Crusaders' talisman.
"You want to play against the best players," Pocock told AAP. "I guess growing up I watched a lot of him playing and when I got to play against him it was a great thrill. It's something I still really enjoy doing. He's been one of the benchmark number sevens for a long time now."
Should McCaw fail to recover in time for the clash, Matt Todd, who has impressed in the All Black skipper's absence this season, will continue at openside for the Crusaders.
"I have watched a lot of their tapes and he (Todd) is a good player, too," Pocock said. "So whether it's Tim or Richie on the field, they've got a pretty good scavenger and link man in their team."
Fellow backrower Matt Hodgson (shoulder), outside centre Mitch Inman (elbow) and winger David Smith (hamstring) could also return from injury for the clash.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
The rolling maul is becoming an increasingly potent attacking weapon. Conor O'Shea looks at the difficulties of stopping it
The news of James Horwill, Adam Ashley-Cooper and Dan Carter's respective transfers will open the floodgates, writes Tom Hamilton
Kiwi coaches can be found far and wide across the globe, and Murray Mexted believes the All Blacks benefit every bit as much as their rivals
Clermont, Toulon, player burnout, Sam Burgess and a farewell to Adams Park - Monday Maul looks back at the weekend's action