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 only thing that will stop this England team from becoming a great team is themselves. They need to ask themselves 'what can we be?'" The Phil Vickery column
The latest Monday Maul looks at the hectic final weekend, the Lions hangover, the superb Mike Brown and the 'selfie'
"At the crux of this England team is a lack of fear, they are not afraid to throw playbooks out of the window." Tom Hamilton reports from Twickenham
"These little deft touches, the nuances O'Driscoll has perfected are what Ireland will miss most." Tom Hamilton on Brian O'Driscoll's final Test in Dublin