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Pocock is in White's plans for Brumbies


Rugby Union

Wallabies flanker David Pocock is on the hit list for Brumbies coach Jake White.

Wallabies flanker David Pocock is on the hit list for Brumbies coach Jake White. Photo: Paul Kane

The ACT Brumbies hope David Pocock will follow the path created by George Smith and become the second openside flanker superstar in the club's history as they attempt to lure him to Canberra next year.

But Brumbies coach Jake White insists he will not pressure Australia's premier No.7 into a decision and is happy to wait until Pocock is ready to finalise his future.

Western Force skipper Pocock is off contract at the end of the Super Rugby season and White has contacted him to express his interest.

Pocock would be a perfect fit at the Brumbies after the two-time champions lost Michael Hooper to the NSW Waratahs last week.

The Brumbies were blessed with Wallabies great Smith filling the No.7 duties for almost a decade, while Hooper is viewed as a future Wallaby.

Injured Brumby Colby Faingaa is also highly rated, but White said he would be ''crazy'' not to consider signing the Wallabies flanker.

The former Springboks coach is also keen to use his South African contacts to help grow Pocock's charitable foundation, Eightytwenty Vision, which helps underprivileged people in rural Zimbabwe.

The chance to work closely with politicians in Canberra could also attract Pocock to the Brumbies.

But after a week of turmoil at the Force where the players voted to oust coach Richard Graham, White said the recruiting process was sensitive and ''there's no rush''.

''There's always going to be speculation about the top players … we have shown an interest in [Pocock] just like all other franchises have,'' White said.

''But there's no rush, the fact he would consider [joining the Brumbies] is fantastic.

''We want to become better and better and better every year, so if bringing him to the Brumbies would send a positive message and I'm sure it will add value to us.

''I respect the fact David doesn't want to rush into anything and I'm not going to put pressure on him.

''When the time is right we would be happy to offer him something if he's keen.''

The Brumbies' impressive start to the season will help them in their pursuit of Pocock.

They unexpectedly sit at the top of the Australian conference and will attempt to extend their lead when they play the Johannesburg Lions on Saturday morning.

Pocock is the best player on the Force's roster and he is trying to lead the club through one of the most difficult periods in its history.

Graham was sacked last week after it was announced he had signed to become the Queensland Reds' coach for the next Super Rugby season.

The Force is keen to secure Pocock beyond the end of the year.

But after watching the Brumbies' new generation rapidly evolve into a strong team, Pocock could be keen to move to Canberra.

Pocock - who turned 24 yesterday - is the best No.7 in Australia and is considered one of the premier openside flankers in the world.

If he does decide to join the Brumbies, it would be a massive coup for a club which had a disastrous campaign last year.

White has put the Brumbies in a position where they are considered a chance of breaking their seven year finals drought.

Expectations for the young group are beginning to change and White was confident his team could handle the extra attention.

''It's nice for us that people are seeing us as a team that can win against tough oppositions,'' White said.

''Outsiders didn't think we would win a game this season so we don't think about that … every week the pressure is different.''


Super Rugby, round 10: Johannesburg Lions v ACT Brumbies at Coca Cola Park, 3.10am. TV Time: Live on Fox Sports 3.

14 comments so far

  • I suppose that Pocock's departure is coming. I do not want to see him leave Perth, but the ARU will pressure him into going. Why don't they let the franchise grow instead of taking away the good players?

    Date and time
    April 24, 2012, 12:01PM
    • Why an earth would the ARU pressure him into going? What does franchise player recruitment even have to do with the ARU? But perhaps it should have a lot more to do with the ARU. The ARU should be focussing much more heavily on creating a system that allows the developing franchises to compete much better on both the Aussie and global stages. I'm at a loss to understand how limiting the number of ARU retained elite players, and imposing franchise salary caps and squad size quotas- especially for struggling/new clubs- really protects or supports Aussie rugby.
      Successful teams create grass roots enthusiasm, which leads to greater player depth on which to build successful teams...
      The ARU really needs to get its house in order before the code cannabilises itself. It is enough to have to contend with the drain of the potential player pool to the NRL and AFL- no other rugby nation suffers internal talent competition to such a dramatic extent- without the elite teams destroying each other by fighting over the slim remaining talent pickings.
      As it's number 1 priority, the ARU should be massively increasing investment (not cutting it!) in the Aussie Super XV franchises to ensure that these teams are all achieiving optimum performance. In return, these franchises and their players must be obligated to make a corresponding investment in the local club and school rugby scene- what the rest of us might call day jobs.

      Capt Footlong
      Date and time
      April 25, 2012, 3:23AM
    • I can't work out why there is a salary cap or squad size limits either. Do they have it for the SANZ teams also?

      Are the ARU propping the franchises up? Ed?

      Date and time
      April 27, 2012, 4:04AM
  • I think people underestimate Pocock's loyalty to the team.

    I don't think he's going anywhere soon.

    At least I hope not....

    Perth via Rakaia
    Date and time
    April 24, 2012, 12:48PM
    • I hope he stays also. I think I read that Canberra are trying to entice him via aid for his charity for Zimbabwe which is smart because he seems to be motivated by more than just $.

      Date and time
      April 27, 2012, 4:07AM
  • The problem is that Australia will never have enough quality rugby players to fill five super rugby teams. The best we can hope for is three competitive teams each season, meaning at least two Aussie teams will be at the bottom of the ladder. While it would be disappointing for Force supporters if Pocock did go, you can't blame him. He has the choice of staying with a club that most likely will not make the finals for another three years (at best) or sign with a club that is building and has the potential to be in the top four teams in the comp in the same period.
    Unfortunately, this is the consequence of the decision by senior administrators to have five super rugby teams based in Australia despite the fact we were struggling enough with four.

    Date and time
    April 24, 2012, 1:47PM
    • Australia may not 'have the talent' to fill 5 teams, but the only way you can say they never will is if the opportunities for new players to have a shot at that level are curtailled - which is exactly what the 2 extra teams are there to avoid. Have a think of the players we wouldn't have seen (or those older players who would have just faded away) if not for the Force and Rebels.

      Perth vie Rakaia
      Date and time
      April 26, 2012, 1:40PM
  • I agree pacafechef.
    Pocock's emergence (and O'connor?) at this level was through the Perth club. If the premier players are constantly vacuumed off to the eastern clubs they seem destined to be forever celler dwellers. Thst's not to say some players would have achieved such distinction wherever they have developed.

    Date and time
    April 24, 2012, 2:51PM
    • I think Pocock is amazing has well earned his spot in the Wallabies, but changing franchises is a two pronged scenario. If you take out star players from a franchise that is, let's face it - struggling, then that franchise will suffer. On the other hand, a good player will develop into a great player with a successful franchise that has more opportunities available. I would suggest that a fairer distribution of Wallabies is necessary to even up the teams, similar to the NZ model where no franchise is loaded with ABs.

      Also, I want to know know why we can't comment on the De Villiers story, I think it would generate a lot of interesting and entertaining comment.. Perhaps SMH is worried that they couldn't publish any of them perhaps?? Could be any worse than the drivel he comes out with!

      Wollongong - currently IJmuiden, Netherlands
      Date and time
      April 24, 2012, 5:41PM
      • Not sure I understand. Why would the ARU want him to move? Don't they want the Force to not be the laughing stock of Super Rugby? I feel really bad for the Force and my opinion of Graham is no longer a good one. Way to leave your team in the lurch, Rick. Especially after all the crappy stuff that has happened to them in the last year.

        Oregon, USA
        Date and time
        April 25, 2012, 1:26AM

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