Rugby Union


Larkham hopes Pocock stays put

Brumbies assistant coach Stephen Larkham admits he would not be too perturbed if David Pocock's name is not read out when the Wallabies' spring tour squad is named this morning.

The Brumbies would be content to see their high-priced recruit bypass Europe and remain in Canberra wrapped in cotton wool.

But Larkham has full faith the Wallabies medical staff will make the right decision, with Pocock's best interests at heart.

The breakaway has been working in the gym for the past month, recovering from a medial ligament strain in his right knee, which he hurt in August.

Pocock will start his three-year deal with the Brumbies next year and the club hopes he will provide the missing link as it looks to return to the Super Rugby finals.

''We'd like to keep him here and get a full pre-season out for a couple of benefits - obviously for his physical development but also for the team environment,'' Larkham said yesterday.


''They will make the right decision, they're not going to make him play if it's not 100 per cent. The doctors here and the doctors there will definitely make sure he's ready to play.

''We've got to make sure he's fully recovered from the injury before we put him out on the paddock. Provided he can do that and he's conditioned well, which he is at the moment, he'll be able to get through a full game.''

Pocock told The Canberra Times last week the ''very best-case scenario'' would be to play the back end of the spring tour. But he also hinted he may remain in Canberra and focus on being ready for the Super Rugby season.

Larkham said Pocock's presence at pre-season training would benefit the Brumbies enormously.

''He's done everything right physically to put himself in a good position to make the tour,'' Larkham said.

''[But] having him as part of the team would be a great boost for us over the pre-season.

''David's work ethic is second to none and to have someone like him around the younger players the way he trains would be invaluable.

''The communication between the ARU [Australian Rugby Union] and the states at the moment is very good in terms of injuries.

''They've been very proactive about that and we're very happy with their care of the players.''

Fellow Brumbies Ben Alexander [wrist] and Stephen Moore [hamstring] are both available for selection and the experience they can provide a young Wallabies outfit is expected to work in their favour.

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