Rugby Union

Former Wallaby Richard Harry says David Pocock could be World Cup star

Former Wallabies prop Richard Harry says ACT Brumbies flanker David Pocock is the "bloke you want to go to war with", while Canberra Raiders great Bradley Clyde believes the former Wallabies captain was part of a "milestone case" that has changed the Australian sporting landscape.

Harry said the Wallabies, who go into camp this weekend, were a chance to win the World Cup, but needed to develop more genuine World XV players during the Super Rugby season to do it - citing Pocock as someone who could become one of those players.

The rugby world was tipped upside down last weekend when NSW Waratahs forward Jaques Potgieter directed homophobic slurs at two Brumbies players, which both Pocock and Stephen Moore reported to the referee.

Pocock's discussion was caught on refcam and sparked a debate about whether he'd handled the situation correctly, with some circles painting the former Wallabies captain as the villain.

Harry, who played in a charity game with Clyde at Bungendore on Saturday, was in no doubt he had done the right thing.

"It sent a pretty strong message, it's more about the quality bloke that Poey is," Harry said.

"The good thing is if he's prepared to do that in that situation, imagine what he'd do in the heat of the battle as a team member.

"He's the sort of bloke you want to go to war with. I don't think it's an issue at all and if anyone's got an issue, it's more detriment to them."

Clyde said the football codes were the "last frontiers to evolve" and praised Pocock's courage.

He felt it would make it easier for other players to now also speak out about inappropriate language.

"I thought it was treated responsibly and raised the issue to a point where everyone understands it isn't acceptable to speak like that," Clyde said.

"It's a bit of a milestone case, things like this happen every now and then that move the goal posts and you've got to adapt and learn from them and implement policy accordingly.

"Most sporting organisations will learn from it and educate their players around diversity. It shouldn't be a part of the game."

Harry said the sixth-ranked Wallabies currently lacked enough players who were the best in the world in their position, but said Pocock and Brumbies captain Stephen Moore were two guys who could develop into those players as they continue comebacks from knee reconstructions.

"[To win the World Cup] you've got to have at least eight World XV players without doubt ... we have one or two," he said.

"Guys can grow through the year and grow through the tournament ... you've got guys like Pocock at any point in time, you've got Stephen Moore."

Harry said they were hoping to raise about $30,000 for the Black Dog Institute with the celebrity Silver Foxes matches against the ADF Old Boys at Bungendore.