Pocock sticks with Brumbies
Sydney - Star Australian backrower David
Pocock is staying with the Brumbies and the Wallabies until at least the next
World Cup, his club said on Wednesday, but he will take 2017 off to study.
The No 8, who recovered from two knee
reconstructions in two years to play a leading role for Australia at the last
World Cup, will return to Australia ahead of the 2018 Super rugby season.
"I'm excited to commit to Australian
rugby until the end of 2019," he said, according to the Brumbies website.
"I really appreciate the willingness
the ARU and Brumbies have shown in allowing me to weigh up my desire to be
available for selection leading into the next World Cup against my longevity in
the game and pursuing interests outside the sport."
His old Australian Rugby Union contract
expires on December 31 and the governing body feared losing Pocock after a host
of top players have taken-up lucrative overseas contracts in recent times.
"I believe that after 11 seasons of
professional rugby, having a year away from the sport will help increase my
years in the game I love," the 27-year-old said.
"It will also give me the opportunity
to do a bit more study and pursue interests outside of rugby."
He did not say where he would study next
year but media reports have suggested England.
Brumbies head coach Stephen Larkham praised
the deal that keeps Pocock with the club in the run up to the 2019 World Cup in
"David is a marquee player and one of
the best in the world, if not the best in the world in his position,"
"We've seen over the past 12 months
just how valuable he is to the Brumbies and Wallabies both on and off the
"He has been with the Brumbies since
2013 and has fought through the toughest parts of his career with this club.
"He's certainly respected by all the
players and certainly respected by all the coaches as well."
Boss of the breakdown, Pocock's immense
value to Australia was never more apparent than at the World Cup where he was
the Wallabies standout player in the run to the final and ultimate defeat to
the All Blacks.
Pocock made his Wallaby debut in 2008,
captaining the side in 2012 and has now earned 55 Test caps.
An overseas contract makes Australian
players ineligible to play for the national team unless they already have more
than 60 caps and have held a professional contract with Australian rugby for at
least seven years.