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David Pocock has a challenging mountain to climb

COMMENT

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 0vs FJI 0 05:00Twic
TGA 0vs GEO 0 21:00Kholm
IRE 0vs CAN 0 23:30MilS
Sun, 20 SepTimes shown AEST
SAF 0vs JPN 0 01:45Brig
FRA 0vs ITA 0 05:00Twic
SAM 0vs USA 0 21:00Brig
WAL 0vs URU 0 23:30MilS
Mon, 21 SepTimes shown AEST
NZL 0vs ARG 0 01:45Wemb
Wed, 23 SepTimes shown AEST
SCO 0vs JPN 0 23:30Kholm
Thu, 24 SepTimes shown AEST
AUS 0vs FJI 0 01:45MilS
FRA 0vs ROM 0 05:00Olym
Fri, 25 SepTimes shown AEST
NZL 0vs NAM 0 05:00Olym
Sat, 26 SepTimes shown AEST
ARG 0vs GEO 0 01:45Kholm
ITA 0vs CAN 0 23:30Ella
Sun, 27 SepTimes shown AEST
SAF 0vs SAM 0 01:45Villa
ENG 0vs WAL 0 05:00Twic
AUS 0vs URU 0 21:00Villa
SCO 0vs USA 0 23:30Ella
Mon, 28 SepTimes shown AEST
IRE 0vs ROM 0 01:45Wemb
Wed, 30 SepTimes shown AEST
TGA 0vs NAM 0 01:45Sand
Fri, 02 OctTimes shown AEST
WAL 0vs FJI 0 01:45MilS
FRA 0vs CAN 0 05:00stadium:mk
Sat, 03 OctTimes shown AEST
NZL 0vs GEO 0 05:00MilS
SAM 0vs JPN 0 23:30stadium:mk
Sun, 04 OctTimes shown AEST
SAF 0vs SCO 0 01:45St James' Park
ENG 0vs AUS 0 06:00Twic
Mon, 05 OctTimes shown AEDT
ARG 0vs TGA 0 00:30KPS
IRE 0vs ITA 0 02:45Olym
Wed, 07 OctTimes shown AEDT
CAN 0vs ROM 0 02:45KPS
FJI 0vs URU 0 06:00stadium:mk
Thu, 08 OctTimes shown AEDT
SAF 0vs USA 0 02:45Olym
NAM 0vs GEO 0 06:00Sand
Sat, 10 OctTimes shown AEDT
NZL 0vs TGA 0 06:00St James' Park
Sun, 11 OctTimes shown AEDT
SAM 0vs SCO 0 00:30St James' Park
AUS 0vs WAL 0 02:45Twic
ENG 0vs URU 0 06:00Manch
ARG 0vs NAM 0 22:00KPS
Mon, 12 OctTimes shown AEDT
ITA 0vs ROM 0 00:30Sand
FRA 0vs IRE 0 02:45MilS
USA 0vs JPN 0 06:00Kholm
View All Fixtures
Round 2
Sun, 18 OctTimes shown AEDT
WinB 0vs RUpA 0 02:00Twic
WinC 0vs RUpD 0 06:00MilS
WinD 0vs RUpC 0 23:00MilS
Mon, 19 OctTimes shown AEDT
WinA 0vs RUpB 0 02:00Twic
Sun, 25 OctTimes shown AEDT
WQF1 0vs WQF2 0 02:00Twic
Mon, 26 OctTimes shown AEDT
WQF3 0vs WQF4 0 03:00Twic
Sat, 31 OctTimes shown AEDT
LSF1 0vs LSF2 0 07:00Olym
Sun, 01 NovTimes shown AEDT
WSF1 0vs WSF2 0 03:00Twic
View All Fixtures
Rugby World Cup 2015
Overall standings
Team P W L D +/- Pts
France 0 0 0 0 0 0
New Zealand 0 0 0 0 0 0
Canada 0 0 0 0 0 0
Tonga 0 0 0 0 0 0
Japan 0 0 0 0 0 0
View all
Rugby World Cup 2015
Overall standings
Team P W L D +/- Pts
Romania 0 0 0 0 0 0
Argentina 0 0 0 0 0 0
England 0 0 0 0 0 0
Georgia 0 0 0 0 0 0
Scotland 0 0 0 0 0 0
View all
Rugby World Cup 2015
Overall standings
Team P W L D +/- Pts
Australia 0 0 0 0 0 0
USA 0 0 0 0 0 0
Italy 0 0 0 0 0 0
Ireland 0 0 0 0 0 0
View all
Rugby World Cup 2015
Overall standings
Team P W L D +/- Pts
Fiji 0 0 0 0 0 0
Samoa 0 0 0 0 0 0
Namibia 0 0 0 0 0 0
South Africa 0 0 0 0 0 0
Wales 0 0 0 0 0 0
View all
 

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