JavaScript disabled. Please enable JavaScript to use My News, My Clippings, My Comments and user settings.

If you have trouble accessing our login form below, you can go to our login page.

If you have trouble accessing our login form below, you can go to our login page.

Hooper and Gill putting pressure on Pocock: Poidevin


Jim Morton

A revelation ... Michael Hooper of the Brumbies.

A revelation ... Michael Hooper of the Brumbies. Photo: Getty Images

Wallabies back-row greats Simon Poidevin and David Wilson believe outstanding young flankers Liam Gill and Michael Hooper will drive each other to immense heights like George Smith and Phil Waugh a decade ago.

Queensland teenager Gill and Brumbies tyro Hooper have made such a mark in their first full seasons of Super Rugby that they, not David Pocock nor Springbok Heinrich Brussow, lead the ball-pilfering statistics.

While Western Force skipper Pocock, 24, looms as the Wallabies long-term No.7, former Test skipper Poidevin rates last year's Australia Under-20 squadmates as international standard flankers.

And Wilson, a World Cup-winning flanker in 1999, can only marvel at the 19 and 20 year-olds.

Gill has been instrumental in the Reds' return to form in the past month, grabbing his chance to take over from injured Beau Robinson, while Hooper's play has seen him poached by the NSW Waratahs for 2013.

Gill's five breakdown steals in Queensland's 42-27 victory over the Chiefs lifted him to the top of the ball-pilfering list on 14 - five ahead of Hooper who cooled his heels with a Brumbies bye.

Reds coach Ewen McKenzie justifiably pointed out his young gun's scavenging ability was even more exceptional considering he spent most of the first month of competition on the bench.

''Yesterday against the Chiefs he was absolutely outstanding and I think the hardest markers of any No.7s are playing against New Zealand sides - they test them like no one else,'' Poidevin said.

''So the fact he's come through the Crusaders and Chiefs with flying colours is a big tick.''

The rising pair go head-to-head in a mouth-watering clash at Canberra Stadium on Saturday week in a pivotal Brumbies-Reds encounter.

Although neither 79-Test Wilson or 59-cap Poidevin are keen to nominate the better of the two, they no longer think the Wallabies will be caught in the same deep hole as last year when, without a sidelined Pocock, they were upset by Ireland at the World Cup.

They expect a healthy long rivalry which will be a huge positive for the Wallabies - like when Smith and Waugh emerged in 2000 after Wilson retired.

''George and Phil putting pressure on each other obviously made [them] better players,'' Wilson said.

''People had said we'd find it hard to replace David Pocock but now we've got these guys champing at his heels.

''Clearly Pocock is the king and these two guys are coming through.

''All three of them are so young - that's the amazing thing.'' AAP

HuffPost Australia

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

Follow Us on Facebook

Featured advertisers