David Pocock shrugs off Wallabies leadership speculation

David Pocock shrugs off Wallabies leadership speculation

Wallabies flanker David Pocock will not buy into the Test captaincy debate, adding that his only focus is making a successful Super Rugby comeback next month.

Former Wallabies skipper Pocock looms as one of the front-runners to replace incumbent captain Ben Mowen, who will quit Australian rugby at the end of this year.

Wallabies captaincy candidate David Pocock says he is purely focused on the Brumbies.

Wallabies captaincy candidate David Pocock says he is purely focused on the Brumbies.Credit:Marco Del Grande

But after a knee reconstruction and just three games in the past 12 months, Pocock is refusing to look beyond the ACT Brumbies' round-one clash against the Queensland Reds on February 22.

''I'll leave [the captaincy] to the experts and coaches to decide - that debate doesn't interest me at all,'' Pocock said.


''I'm happy to get out there for the Brumbies and enjoy playing again. [The captaincy] will all be resolved down the track.

''As soon as you start worrying about captaincy and all those other things, that's when you've got your priorities wrong.

''Captaincy is a great honour, to be given an opportunity to serve your team in that role. But it's not about chucking your name in the ring to promote yourself.''

Queensland trio Quade Cooper, James Horwill and Will Genia will join Pocock as the men most likely to take over the captaincy duties in the fifth change at the top in just 18 months.

The Brumbies will on Thursday unveil a six-man leadership group for the Super Rugby campaign. It's a beefed-up leadership group following the team's 2013 success.

Mowen will be retained as captain, despite his impending departure at the end of the season.

Pocock, Stephen Moore and Christian Lealiifano were the Brumbies' vice-captains last year and two more players will be added to the list.

The Brumbies won't employ a transition period to identify their next captain, instead declaring Mowen the best man for the job and waiting for him to leave before naming his successor.

Pocock met with Wallabies coach Ewen McKenzie in Canberra on Monday.

The 46-Test flanker played just three games last season before he tore his anterior cruciate ligament in March and spent nine months on the sideline.

Former Brumby Michael Hooper replaced him in the Test side and excelled in the No. 7 jersey, winning the John Eales Medal.

''You'd prefer not to be injured, but I haven't done a pre-season in a while and I'm feeling fit and good,'' Pocock said.

''Hopefully I can play good enough rugby to warrant [Wallabies] selection this year, but that's really not my focus at the moment.

''[Hooper] is outstanding. Winning a John Eales Medal says it all and it's great for Australian rugby going into the next World Cup with depth at No.7.''

Pocock will play his first game since last March when the Brumbies take on the Otago Highlanders in Queenstown on January 31.

The 25-year-old admitted he was surprised when Mowen announced he was leaving Australian rugby.

But Pocock doesn't fear his departure will trigger an exodus.

''We just have to get on with it … it doesn't change a thing this year other than maybe making [Mowen] hungrier,'' he said.

Chris Dutton is the sports editor at The Canberra Times.

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