Wallabies back-row a mystery to Pocock

2016-06-01 20:24
David Pocock (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - Wallabies star David Pocock says he's unsure what Australia's back-row will be ahead of the series against England this month.

Pocock says he has no idea if Wallabies coach Michael Cheika will stick with the 'Pooper' back-row combination that worked so well at last year's World Cup, or cook up an entirely new formula to tackle England in June.

Cheika went against his own instincts to select Pocock at number eight and Michael Hooper at openside flanker last year, a move that paid handsome dividends in both the Rugby Championship and World Cup.

As if the competition for back-row spots wasn't already the hottest in the team, the wildcard selection of Leroy Houston has added only further intrigue.

However, with both Pocock and Hooper in great form in Super Rugby, the pair - so integral in Australia's World Cup pool win over England at Twickenham - is set to reform for the forthcoming three-Test series which begins in Brisbane on June 11.

Brumbies back-rower Scott Fardy, a regular at blindside flanker for the Wallabies over the past three seasons, is the front-runner to retain his number six jersey given his lineout skills and rugged presence at the breakdown.

Sean McMahon has a reasonable claim to a starting spot, having barely put a foot wrong for the Melbourne Rebels, and while Houston still has to prove himself, Cheika wouldn't have lured him back from English club Bath if he didn't intend to use him at some stage.

"You look around, there's so much competition and as a player, that's what you want," Pocock said.

"It's good for the squad.

"There's no point trying to guess what Cheik's thinking, just rip into training and see what happens."

Then there's Liam Gill, whose form has been Wallaby-standard for the Reds over the last two seasons - but he remains stuck behind Hooper, Pocock and McMahon in the pecking order.

Gill intends to give his all in his first proper Wallabies camp under Cheika, knowing he will be ineligible for selection when he moves to French club rugby next year.

"I understand what's in front of me, I'm well aware," he said.

"It'll be tough. I haven't quite played under the structure he wants to play but hopefully with a couple of weeks under my belt, I'll fit in nicely.

"I've just got to keep playing decent footy like I've tried to do this year and last year, come to camps, have a crack, put the ball back in his court - and if he goes down the same path he has been, then I've done everything I can."

Read more on:    england  |  wallabies  |  david pocock  |  rugby

What To Read Next


Read News24’s Comments Policy

Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

Love 2 Meet
Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter


With the Absa Premiership in full swing, who will be crowned champions when all is said and done? Will Mamelodi Sundowns defend their title? Or can Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates or Bidvest Wits mount a serious challenge? Stay glued to Sport24 to find out!

Latest blogs

SA Rugby's coaching indaba is set to take place this week. Do you think the two-day think-tank will make any difference?

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.