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Leading by example: Deans delighted with captain fantastic Pocock

Had his hands in everything on Saturday night ... Pocock.

Had his hands in everything on Saturday night ... Pocock. Photo: AP

LAST Tuesday night, David Pocock was suffering from hypothermia and must have wondered what he had done wrong to have his first Test as Wallabies skipper coincide with one of their most embarrassing defeats.

Four nights on, he experienced the highs of the same position, with his exceptional display against Wales showing he is a true leader, someone who inspires those around him and intimidates those in opposition.

The Welsh are now wondering what they have to do to contain Pocock at the breakdown, especially if the Wallabies persist in the dynamic duo approach by bringing on his near twin, Michael Hooper, in the second half to add even more punch.

But it is Pocock's behaviour as a leader in the lead-up to the Test that has convinced Wallabies coach Robbie Deans he made the right choice in making him skipper in the absence of James Horwill.

Pocock refused to let the Scotland loss get to him, and even though he is nowhere near the oldest player in the squad, was prepared to tell the senior players what they had done wrong and where they had to improve. According to those around the team, Pocock didn't worry about reputations, and made sure everyone knew who was boss, and his teammates responded.

''David did a great job as captain this week, because this was a baptism of fire,'' he said.

''In a week which was unusual, he grew a lot. He has grown as a leader just through his experiences at the Western Force this year. You can see he is calmer, he is clearer. He understands the things which are important, and he will now let some of the peripheral stuff wash off him. He will pursue the end in mind. That's the sign of shifting from management to leadership.''

Under such pressure, weaker characters would have collapsed. ''But he didn't. He got stronger.''

And having Hooper hovering will help Pocock.

''Michael will be a great asset for David. You look at all the great players over time. They've had someone pushing them. No one achieves much from a position of comfort,'' Deans said.

Adding to the full package is Pocock's prowess as a player - he is one of rugby's most devastating pilferers at the tackle area.

''At the breakdown, he's a physical freak,'' Deans said. ''He has a low centre of gravity and has such strength … He's nigh impossible to move, and he gets the benefit of that.''

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Rugby Internationals 2014

Round 1
Sat, 07 JunTimes shown AEST
SAM 18 vs TGA 18 Report Stats
FJI 25 vs ITA 14 Report Stats
NZL 20 vs ENG 15 Report Stats
AUS 50 vs FRA 23 Report Stats
Sun, 08 JunTimes shown AEST
RSA 47 vs WXV 13 Report Stats
ARG 17 vs IRE 29 Report Stats
USA 6 vs SCO 24 Report Stats
CAN 25 vs JPN 34 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 2
Sat, 14 JunTimes shown AEST
SAM 15 vs ITA Report Stats
FJI 45 vs TGA 17 Report Stats
NZL 28 vs ENG 27 Report Stats
AUS 6 vs FRA Report Stats
Sun, 15 JunTimes shown AEST
RSA 38 vs WAL 16 Report Stats
CAN 17 vs SCO 19 Report Stats
ARG 17 vs IRE 23 Report Stats
USA 29 vs JPN 37 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 3
Sat, 21 JunTimes shown AEST
ARG 19 vs SCO 21 Report Stats
FJI 13 vs SAM 18 Report Stats
JPN 26 vs ITA 23 Report Stats
AUS 39 vs FRA 13 Stats
NZL 36 vs ENG 13 Report Stats
Sun, 22 JunTimes shown AEST
RSA 31 vs WAL 30 Report Stats
USA 38 vs CAN 35 Report Stats
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Round 4
Sun, 29 JunTimes shown AEST
RSA 55 vs SCO 6 Report Stats
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Round 5
Sun, 02 NovTimes shown AEDT
BAR 36 vs AUS 40 Report Stats
USA 6 vs NZL 74 Report Stats
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Round 6
Sun, 09 NovTimes shown AEDT
ITA 24 vs SAM 13 Report Stats
ENG 21 vs NZL 24 Report Stats
WAL 28 vs AUS 33 Report Stats
FRA 40 vs FJI 14 Report Stats
IRE 29 vs RSA 15 Report Stats
SCO 41 vs ARG 31 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 7
Sun, 16 NovTimes shown AEDT
ITA 18 vs ARG 20 Report Stats
ENG 28 vs RSA 31 Report Stats
WAL 17 vs FJI 13 Report Stats
SCO 16 vs NZL 24 Report Stats
FRA 29 vs AUS 26 Report Stats
Mon, 17 NovTimes shown AEDT
IRE 49 vs GEO 7 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 8
Sun, 23 NovTimes shown AEDT
ITA 6 vs RSA 22 Report Stats
SCO 37 vs TGA 12 Report Stats
IRE 26 vs AUS 23 Report Stats
WAL 16 vs NZL 34 Report Stats
ENG 28 vs SAM 9 Report Stats
FRA 13 vs ARG 18 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 9
Sun, 30 NovTimes shown AEDT
ENG 26 vs AUS 17 Report Stats
WAL 12 vs RSA 6 Report Stats
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