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David Pocock has a challenging mountain to climb


David Pocock receives treatment on his knee against the Force.

David Pocock receives treatment on his knee against the Force. Photo: Getty Images

''Is this the end for Pocock?''

The news headline indicated my ACT Brumbies teammate David Pocock had joined a long list of athletes prematurely written off following serious injury.

Long road ahead ... David Pocock.

Long road ahead ... David Pocock. Photo: Marco Del Grande

I wouldn't bet against Dave.

Poey has every right to feel devastated.

After working incredibly hard to rebound from last year's knee surgery, he has suffered the same season-ending injury just two weeks into our season.

But I know Poey's character.

Hours before his surgery, he sent me a good-luck message for a theatre production my comedian brother recently roped me into.

It was at a time he could be forgiven for thinking of himself, but Dave retained the selfless consideration of others that sets him apart.

It's this perspective that will serve him well during his rehabilitation.

In time, he may even come to view these past few years, plagued by injury, as invaluable teachers.

When British mountain climber George Leigh Mallory was asked why he wanted to reach the summit of Mount Everest, he replied: ''Because it's there.''

The quote offers an insight into the uniquely human compulsion to explore ourselves by conquering our fears.

It's often the challenges we don't choose that are our greatest trials.

Though we cannot know or control what complications lie in wait for us, we can influence our way of thinking about life's obstacles.

I was 18 the first time it was suggested to me that I consider career options outside of rugby.

I'd broken my leg in the same place twice inside four months.

Two years earlier, the same had happened to my arm.

The doctor held up my X-rays and made a grim face as he told me the repeated failure of my bones to knit indicated I was a slow healer, that maybe I wasn't suited to an impact sport such as rugby.

Given the number of injuries I've suffered over my career, the good doctor may not have been quite as stupid as I assured him he was.

Dealing with a serious knee injury in the World Cup year of 2007 was also difficult.

As the year progressed it became clear that my desperate efforts to rehabilitate my knee had failed.

It's fair to say I absorbed this failure in a deeply personal way. I felt defeated.

In hindsight I've come to view setbacks as vital curves in the course of life.

Struggle shapes the lens through which we see the world by throwing us out of our comfort zones and forcing us to grow.

I've seen many inspirational comebacks from serious injury in rugby, none more so than Pat McCabe's return from two broken necks to be playing Super Rugby this season.

Poey now stands at the foot of a long and arduous journey back to full fitness, too.

While I believe he will get there, I don't share the seemingly unanimous faith that his recovery is a foregone conclusion.

If a steely resolve was enough to guard against injury, Poey would never get hurt.

To look sporting mortality in the eye, to acknowledge that defeat and failure is possible, that's what will make Dave's challenge so much more worthy.

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Rugby World Cup 2015

Round 1
Sat, 19 SepTimes shown AEST
ENG 35vs FJI 11 Report Stats
TGA 10vs GEO 17 Report Stats
IRE 50vs CAN 7 Report Stats
Sun, 20 SepTimes shown AEST
SAF 32vs JPN 34 Report Stats
FRA 32vs ITA 10 Report Stats
SAM 25vs USA 16 Report Stats
WAL 54vs URU 9 Report Stats
Mon, 21 SepTimes shown AEST
NZL 26vs ARG 16 Report Stats
Wed, 23 SepTimes shown AEST
SCO 45vs JPN 10 Report Stats
Thu, 24 SepTimes shown AEST
AUS 28vs FJI 13 Report Stats
FRA 38vs ROM 11 Report Stats
Fri, 25 SepTimes shown AEST
NZL 58vs NAM 14 Report Stats
Sat, 26 SepTimes shown AEST
ARG 54vs GEO 9 Report Stats
ITA 23vs CAN 18 Report Stats
Sun, 27 SepTimes shown AEST
SAF 46vs SAM 6 Report Stats
ENG 25vs WAL 28 Report Stats
AUS 65vs URU 3 Report Stats
SCO 39vs USA 16 Report Stats
Mon, 28 SepTimes shown AEST
IRE 44vs ROM 10 Report Stats
Wed, 30 SepTimes shown AEST
TGA 35vs NAM 21 Report Stats
Fri, 02 OctTimes shown AEST
WAL 23vs FJI 13 Report Stats
FRA 41vs CAN 18 Report Stats
Sat, 03 OctTimes shown AEST
NZL 43vs GEO 10 Report Stats
SAM 5vs JPN 26 Report Stats
Sun, 04 OctTimes shown AEST
SAF 34vs SCO 16 Report Stats
ENG 13vs AUS 33 Report Stats
Mon, 05 OctTimes shown AEDT
ARG 45vs TGA 16 Report Stats
IRE 16vs ITA 9 Report Stats
Wed, 07 OctTimes shown AEDT
CAN 15vs ROM 17 Report Stats
FJI 47vs URU 15 Report Stats
Thu, 08 OctTimes shown AEDT
SAF 64vs USA 0 Report Stats
NAM 16vs GEO 17 Stats
Sat, 10 OctTimes shown AEDT
NZL 47vs TGA 9 Report Stats
Sun, 11 OctTimes shown AEDT
SAM 33vs SCO 36 Report Stats
AUS 15vs WAL 6 Report Stats
ENG 60vs URU 3 Stats
ARG 64vs NAM 19 Report Stats
Mon, 12 OctTimes shown AEDT
ITA 32vs ROM 22 Report Stats
FRA 9vs IRE 24 Report Stats
USA 18vs JPN 28 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 2
Sun, 18 OctTimes shown AEDT
SAF 23vs WAL 19 Stats
NZL 62vs FRA 13 Report Stats
IRE 20vs ARG 43 Report Stats
Mon, 19 OctTimes shown AEDT
AUS 35vs SCO 34 Stats
Sun, 25 OctTimes shown AEDT
SAF 18vs NZL 20 Stats
Mon, 26 OctTimes shown AEDT
ARG 15vs AUS 29 Stats
Sat, 31 OctTimes shown AEDT
SAF 24vs ARG 13 Stats
Sun, 01 NovTimes shown AEDT
NZL 34vs AUS 17 Stats
View All Fixtures
Rugby World Cup 2015
Team P W L D +/- Pts
Australia 4 4 0 0 106 17
Wales 4 3 1 0 49 13
England 4 2 2 0 58 11
Fiji 4 1 3 0 -17 5
Uruguay 4 0 4 0 -196 0
View all
Rugby World Cup 2015
Team P W L D +/- Pts
South Africa 4 3 1 0 120 16
Scotland 4 3 1 0 43 14
Japan 4 3 1 0 -2 12
Samoa 4 1 3 0 -55 6
USA 4 0 4 0 -106 0
View all
Rugby World Cup 2015
Team P W L D +/- Pts
New Zealand 4 4 0 0 125 19
Argentina 4 3 1 0 109 15
Georgia 4 2 2 0 -70 8
Tonga 4 1 3 0 -60 6
Namibia 4 0 4 0 -104 1
View all
Rugby World Cup 2015
Team P W L D +/- Pts
Ireland 4 4 0 0 99 18
France 4 3 1 0 57 14
Italy 4 2 2 0 -14 10
Romania 4 1 3 0 -69 4
Canada 4 0 4 0 -73 2
View all

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