Morale boost: Injured Brumbies star David Pocock has a laugh with teammates.

Morale boost: Injured Brumbies star David Pocock has a laugh with teammates. Photo: Melissa Adams

Star flanker David Pocock gave the ACT Brumbies a boost before their clash with arch-rivals NSW Waratahs with his first visit to training since his second knee reconstruction on Monday.

And versatile Wallabies forward Scott Fardy has backed Jarrad Butler, the inheritor of Pocock's No.7 jersey, in his battle against Wallabies openside flanker Michael Hooper at Canberra Stadium on Saturday night.

Pocock re-injured his anterior cruciate ligament against the Western Force in round two and had surgery in Brisbane last week.

Return: David Pocock back at the Brumbies training facilities for the first time since his knee reconstruction.

Return: David Pocock back at the Brumbies training facilities for the first time since his knee reconstruction. Photo: Melissa Adams

While it's ended his second consecutive Super Rugby season, he returned to the Brumbies fold in good spirits and prop Ben Alexander said it gave the squad a ''boost'' in the lead-up to one of the Brumbies' biggest games of the season against their old foes.

There's added spice since some of the Waratahs, who sit undefeated on top of the Aussie conference, seemingly hold Brumbies skipper Ben Mowen and prop Stephen Moore responsible for their Wallabies' punishment over the Dublin drinking incident last year.

It made Pocock's visit a timely piece of inspiration in the lead-up to what's going to be a fiery encounter.

''It's great to have [Pocock] here, obviously he's a very popular member of the squad,'' Fardy said.

''Everyone was feeling for him last week so it's good to have him around, hopefully it helps him along his road to recovery.''

Butler took over the openside flanker role in the victory over the Wellington Hurricanes on the weekend and Fardy has backed him in his next challenge - to take on Austalia's incumbent No.7 at the breakdown.

He felt there was no need to try and counter Hooper.

''You just play Jarrad Butler, who's played well,'' Fardy said.

''We've signed Jarrad because he's a quality player and he's proven that in the first three games by playing good footy.

''It's massively disappointing for the squad to miss Poey, but you have to move on and you have to have the faith in the guys you select.''

Brumbies prop Ben Alexander saw it as a holistic approach at the breakdown.

Last year's Super Rugby grand finalists are known for the whole team attack on the contest and Alexander felt it wouldn't just be Butler looking to be a pest.

Alexander said Mowen, lock/blindside flanker Fardy and even winger Henry Speight were all relentless with their hunger to pilfer their opponent's ball.

And that wouldn't change coming up against the Waratahs.

''The way we play, it's never been about the seven at the breakdown,'' Alexander said.

''A lot of guys work hard at the breakdown - Benny Mowen, Fards, [Butler], Henry Speight, Patty McCabe, Matty Toomua, they hit rucks just as hard as any forwards - it's never been just one person's responsibility.

''[Pocock]'s just seen to be the leading light there ... it's going to require all of us to step up and fill that void.''

And it was a similar approach to minimising the effectiveness of Israel Folau - a team approach to disrupting the Waratahs' ball from the breakdown and trying to put some errors into their "error-free game".

As well as putting pressure on NSW and trying to force them into making mistakes, Alexander thought the Brumbies needed to reduce the errors in their own game.