Pocock back to bolster Oz
Auckland - Australia openside flank David Pocock has declared himself available for selection for the Wallabies for their final Rugby World Cup Pool C match against Russia on October 1 after missing their previous two games with a stiff back.
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Pocock was missed in the 15-6 loss to Ireland at Eden Park on September 17 as the Irish loose forwards dominated the breakdown and put immense pressure on Australian scrumhalves Will Genia and Quade Cooper.
"My lower back went very tight and started spasming and they just couldn't get it to release, so on the Friday I saw the physio seven or eight times," Pocock told reporters at the team hotel in Hanmer Springs on Monday of his injury that forced him out on the day of the match against Ireland.
"I was very disappointed. It is never ideal to pull out so late as it compromises the team's preparation and then to lose the game obviously adds to it, so it's been a frustrating two weeks and I am just glad to be back training.
"I did a running session yesterday and it was great to be doing a bit of fitness and moving freer.
"I am available for full training and selection this week, which is pretty exciting."
The 23-year-old said the team was well aware of the implications of their loss to Ireland, which has made their path in the knockout phases more treacherous.
They are now expected to meet world champions South Africa in the quarter-finals, and should they advance face hosts New Zealand in the semi-finals.
"We have made it harder for ourselves in terms of who we will face in the quarters and semis but it could work in our favour," he added.
"From now on if we lose a game we are on the next flight home pretty much, so that's the reality.
"We don't want to be home before the end of the tournament so there's that pressure but it's exciting to be a part of and have the opportunity."
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