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Pocock can create own legacy in No.7

Date

Lee Gaskin

David Pocock warms up during an Australian Wallabies training session at Leichhardt Oval on July 26, 2012 in Sydney, Australia.

David Pocock warms up during an Australian Wallabies training session at Leichhardt Oval on July 26, 2012 in Sydney, Australia. Photo: Getty Images

He's already succeeded George Smith in the Wallabies, and David Pocock has the next three years to create his own legacy in the ACT Brumbies No.7 jersey.

The 24-year-old Australia captain ended months of speculation when he left the Western Force to sign with the Brumbies until the end of 2015.

Pocock fills the void left by impressive NSW Waratahs-bound youngster Michael Hooper.

There will be numerous comparisons between Pocock and Smith, with both having established themselves as the premier openside flanker in world rugby of their eras.

''They're pretty big shoes to fill, we'll see how we go,'' Pocock said.

''George has a legacy in Australian rugby and at that club. It's very different circumstances with me moving to the Brumbies for my eighth year for Super Rugby, but that'll be the challenge.''

Smith was a mainstay at the Brumbies for 11 seasons, playing a leading role in the club's two championships in 2001 and 2004, playing more than 120 games for the ACT and earning more than 100 caps for the Wallabies before retiring in 2010.

Pocock joined the Force in its inaugural year in 2006, and was approached by the Brumbies once Hooper made his decision to return home to Sydney in April.

Discussions were put on hold until the end of a tumultuous season in which Force coach Richard Graham left the club, it won just three games and missed out on the signature of Wallabies scrumhalf Will Genia.

In contrast, the Brumbies are a team on the rise. They finished second in the Australian conference leading into the last round only to finish level with the Queensland Reds, which advanced due to a superior head-to-head record.

Pocock's arrival will only increase expectations, but former Wallabies and Brumbies flyhalf Rod Kafer, now an expert commentator with Fox Sports, warned against believing the Brumbies could become an overnight force in the competition.

''I think we're a long way away from being title contenders,'' Kafer said. ''If you see the quality of the rugby produced by the [Waikato] Chiefs and the [Durban] Sharks in the last couple of weeks, there's a bit of daylight to any of the Australian teams throughout the year.

''Pocock makes them stronger, but you're functionally replacing a very good footballer with another very good one, so I don't see it being dramatically different.''

While the Brumbies choked when it mattered the most, there's no taking away their vast improvement under Jake White.

Pocock and White first crossed paths four years ago and now the South African World Cup winner has his man.

''I met Jake in 2008 when we were both speaking at a function before the Wallabies played in Perth,'' Pocock said.

''I wasn't in the squad at that stage but me and Jake got on well.

''While we haven't had a great lot of contact, obviously we've crossed paths and we've had a couple of conversations this year.

''He didn't put any pressure on me and made it easy in the end.''

Pocock is expected to arrive in Canberra in January after having a break from the Wallabies' spring tour.

Only then will he turn his focus to helping the Brumbies to the upper echelon of Super Rugby.

''I'm not sure how we'll go, it's too early to call,'' he said.

''I think the Brumbies have an exciting young team, but everyone will acknowledge there's work to do.''

Pocock's arrival leaves the future of Colby Faingaa in doubt.

The former Australian under 20s international would be highly sought after it he sought greener pastures, despite having a year to run on his contract. with Josh Rakic

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