David Pocock focused on Brumbies
January 16, 2014
David Pocock is looking only at the Brumbies for the time being © Getty Images
Wallabies Captaincy Candidates
David Pocock is raring to go as he prepares to return to Super Rugby after nine months on the sidelines, but he is limiting his ambitions, at least publicly, to the Brumbies.
Pocock has played 46 Tests for Australia, and he was considered this time last year to be a leading candidate to captain the Wallabies against the British & Irish Lions, but his hopes were shattered when he tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee just three games into the Super Rugby season. He subsequently saw his chief rival for the Wallabies' No.7 jumper, Michael Hooper, produce a stellar season for New South Wales and Australia, the Waratahs star named Australian Super Rugby Player of the Year and winning the John Eales Medal as Test player of the year. Pocock now might even be considered Hooper's back-up, but he is unconcerned - saying he is content simply to have enjoyed his first full pre-season since 2007 having undertaken tour commitments with the Wallabies for the past six seasons.
''You'd prefer not to be injured, but I haven't done a pre-season in a while and I'm feeling fit and good,'' Pocock told Fairfax Media.
''Hopefully I can play good enough rugby to warrant [Wallabies] selection this year, but that's really not my focus at the moment. [Hooper] is outstanding. Winning a John Eales Medal says it all and it's great for Australian rugby going into the next World Cup with depth at No.7.''
Pocock nevertheless features among the front-runners to replace Ben Mowen as Wallabies captain, alongside Queensland Reds trio Quade Cooper, James Horwill and Will Genia, after his Brumbies team-mate announced his intention to quit Australian rugby at the end of this year. But the flanker is looking no further than the Brumbies' opening Super Rugby fixture against the Reds in Canberra on February 22.
''I'll leave [the captaincy] to the experts and coaches to decide," Pocock told Fairfax. "That debate doesn't interest me at all. I'm happy to get out there for the Brumbies and enjoy playing again. [The captaincy] will all be resolved down the track. As soon as you start worrying about captaincy and all those other things, that's when you've got your priorities wrong.
''Captaincy is a great honour - to be given an opportunity to serve your team in that role - but it's not about chucking your name in the ring to promote yourself.''
Pocock is scheduled to play his first game since his knee injury, sustained against the Waratahs last March, when the Brumbies face the Highlanders in Queenstown on January 31.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd
As the Southern Hemisphere club season nears its climax, teams in Europe are getting back into training. See the best snaps in Week in Pictures
When the Lions toured South Africa in 1974, some thought rugby could break down barriers. But John Taylor refused to make the trip altogether
"I think in a couple of seasons London Irish can be a genuine force and contenders for the Premiership." Tom Hamilton talks to Brian Smith
"I hate this talk of survival, we are going there to compete." Tom Hamilton talks to London Welsh's Justin Burnell and Matt Corker