Brumbies new recruit David Pocock at Brumbies HQ, Griffith. Photo: Colleen Petch
Marquee recruit, superstar flanker and humanitarian – David Pocock arrives in Canberra as the biggest recruit in ACT Brumbies history and a key piece in a championship-winning puzzle.
But one of the world's best players does not want his rugby achievements and ambitions to define him.
Of course, he wants to help the Brumbies clinch a Super Rugby title and lift the Wallabies to the top of the world rankings.
On the field he's the tenacious No.7 who can change the game with his sublime skills at the breakdown.
Away from rugby he wants to make a difference in the world and uses his profile to help promote the issues that fire his passion.
"I really enjoy rugby and I'm very grateful to have the opportunity to do what I do, but I hope it doesn't define me as a person," the 24-year-old said. "There is far more to life than playing a game of rugby.
"I think it's important you find those things you're passionate about that won't end if you have a serious injury, lose form or get too old.
"That's important to me – having those things I enjoy and can put my energy into."
Pocock grew up on a farm in Zimbabwe before it was seized during the land grabs of Robert Mugabe.
His father was threatened at gun point. A neighbour was killed.
The Pocock family fled to Brisbane in 2002 to start a new life.
While his rugby career took off and launched him to stardom, he never forgot his past.
His career isn't just built on his performances on the field. It's also built on his passion to fight for his beliefs and the rights of other people.
At just 24, he's played 69 Super Rugby matches and 45 Tests for the Wallabies.
The Brumbies will be hoping his rugby ability shines through as they chase a finals berth for the first time since 2004.
The departure of Michael Hooper to the Waratahs opened the door for Brumbies coach Jake White to seek out Pocock.
The Brumbies have boasted some of the biggest names in Australian rugby in the past. Stephen Larkham, George Gregan, Stirling Mortlock, George Smith and Joe Roff are Brumbies legends.
They started their careers in Canberra and became greats of the game.
The difference with Pocock is he is yet to play for the Brumbies and is already regarded as a great.
His career is still rising and he's the biggest recruit in the club's history.
"And having David come to Canberra reflects the change in culture of the team," Brumbies great Brett Robinson said.
"It shows the leadership that Jake White has brought and an organisation that can attract footballers at their peak, historically that has been a problem for the Brumbies.
"David brings so much to Canberra, his leadership on and off the field and his form is world-class."
In his brief time in the capital with partner Emma, Pocock has seen more attractions, market stalls and pieces of art than most Canberrans do in a lifetime.
But his mission on the field is to play finals rugby for the first time in his career.
In his eight years with the Force, he never got to play at the business end of the season. It has also been eight seasons since the Brumbies last played finals rugby.
"You're kidding yourself as an athlete if you're just happy to be part of a program and not really achieve stuff," Pocock said.
"Finals is definitely a goal and hearing guys talk about the disappointment of missing out last year . . . in some ways it's been good to spur young guys on.
"I'm excited, but you don't want to make predictions in the pre-season."
So does he feel the pressure of being a marquee recruit?
"Going to any team you always feel pressure," he said.
"First you want to impress the blokes you're playing with and put in the hard work to get their support.
"There is pressure, but you've got to enjoy yourself. I don't think I'm nervous."
Pocock will make his Brumbies Super Rugby debut when they play the Queensland Reds at Canberra Stadium on Saturday night.
He'll wear the No.7 jersey, one of the most famous in Brumbies history.
It was first worn by Robinson, the inaugural Brumbies captain. Then it belonged to George Smith, a player who will go down as one of the best in Australia's history.
Pocock grew up with a poster of Smith on his wall.
He dreamed of playing against him and alongside him and achieved both of those goals.
Pocock still rates Smith as "a hero".
"The thing about George is he was an absolute freak on the field, but he's so loved and always will have the title of being Australia's best flanker because of the guy he is," Pocock said.
"He's laid back, he has time for everyone and that was the biggest thing for me going into the Wallabies as a 20-year-old.
"Even when I started ahead of him, he was the first bloke to shake my hand."
As for the year ahead, can he feel something special building at the Brumbies?
"Team culture has to be driven by the team, not just senior players. That's evident here at the Brumbies.
"There's a positive contagion building in the group.
"I never thought I would leave the Force, I loved my time there and they gave me my start.
"But this is a new challenge for me, something new and you're always looking to be challenged. That's exciting for me."