Fit-again Pocock keen to lift Brumbies

Fit-again Pocock keen to lift Brumbies

Superstar flanker David Pocock says the ACT Brumbies must ''move on'' from ex-coach Jake White and their game has to evolve to stay ahead of their Super Rugby rivals in 2014.

Pocock also said he opted against joining the Wallabies on their spring tour of Europe on the advice of his surgeon to ensure his reconstructed knee has ample time to recover.

David Pocock trains at the AIS on Thursday.

David Pocock trains at the AIS on Thursday.Credit:Jeffrey Chan

The marquee Brumbies recruit is leading the team in pre-season training with a host of regular stars - including captain Ben Mowen and vice-captains Christian Lealiifano and Stephen Moore - flying to Europe with the Wallabies on Friday.

White quit the last two years of his coaching contract to return to South Africa.


The Brumbies board will meet on Friday to discuss whether Stephen Larkham or Laurie Fisher should take over the coaching reins.

Pocock said the Brumbies were unfazed by the coaching makeover and needed to improve to better their Super Rugby grand final defeat this year.

''Moving forward as a Brumbies program we have to find what works for us,'' Pocock said.

''We need to evolve the program from this year, there will be a lot of teams working on their breakdown and the little areas where we maybe had an edge this year.

''That won't be the case next year … we're in good hands with [Larkham] and Laurie to do that.''

Pocock was supposed to be the Brumbies star last season after leaving the Western Force.

But he ruptured the anterior cruciate ligament in his knee in his third game for the club, ruling him out for the rest of the Brumbies' and Wallabies' seasons.

It meant he missed a dream chance to play against the British and Irish Lions.

He also missed what would have been his first Super Rugby finals series and sat on the sidelines as the Brumbies lost the grand final to the Waikato Chiefs.

The 45-Test Wallaby could have rushed back to play on the Wallabies grand slam tour of Europe next month.

But Pocock instead will complete his first pre-season since 2007 on the advice of his surgeon.

''Long-term injuries are always tough and this is the longest one I've had,'' Pocock said.

''Moving to a new club, you arrive here with a lot of expectation and you really want to repay the organisation and coaches for showing faith in recruiting you.

''To not be able to play was tough, but being part of the Brumbies this year … there are a lot of positives to come out of it.''

Pocock made his Test debut in 2008. He is widely regarded as Australia's best open-side flanker, but in his absence young gun and former Brumby Michael Hooper has stepped up in the No.7 jersey.

Pocock said one of the biggest disappointments of this year was missing the chance to play alongside Brumbies great George Smith.

Smith returned to the Brumbies this season on a short-term deal to tag-team the flanker duties with Pocock.

But Pocock's injury led to Smith playing the entire year.

''I really wanted to play alongside George, I was really excited when he got recruited,'' Pocock said.

''I spoke to the surgeon about [coming back for the Wallabies' spring tour], but [the surgeon] wanted me to do a pre-season.''

Chris Dutton is the sports editor at The Canberra Times.

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