Injured ACT Brumbies flanker David Pocock has backed the club's leaders to stand tall in their Super Rugby final as they aim to give departing stars a fairytale finish at Canberra Stadium.
Pocock will be like a caged bull when the Brumbies host the Durban Sharks on Saturday night after being ruled out for the rest of the year.
He is one of nine players who will be leaving the Brumbies at the end of the season, with the clash against the Sharks looming as the last match in the capital.
Christian Lealiifano announced his departure earlier this week while Henry Speight, Sam Carter and Rory Arnold are among the group of players leaving when the Super Rugby campaign ends.
"I don't think we need any more motivation, it being a home quarter-final," Pocock said.
"But there is always that extra element. Someone like Christian, who has played his whole career here, he is the heart and soul of the current Brumbies team. You (as players) want to send him off on a good note.
"...There are a number of guys moving on and that's the nature of rugby. Every year you have a group of guys who will never play again with, with that group. So it is a special time and hopefully we can stretch that for a few more weeks."
Pocock said his recovery was moving "slowly" as he works with AIS physiotherapist guru Craig Purdam. Wallabies coach Michael Cheika was in Canberra last week and is hopeful Pocock will be ready for the Rugby Championship.
"I think we have a really good plan and I am sticking to that and progress and tick a few boxes that we need to tick," Pocock said.
"It's taking the first phases a little bit more conservatively. I have been working with Craig Purdam at the AIS, and there are few people in Australia who know more about calves and ankles than Purds. So his knowledge has been invaluable.
"Rather than a fixed date, we are going by stages and as soon as I complete one we go onto the next. I think that's going to work a lot better so making sure when I do get back to playing, whenever that is, I will be good to go."
But the "inspirational" return to form of Lealiifano has helped put Pocock's battle into perspective.
Pocock and Lealiifano have been friends since they crossed paths as teenage rivals and will finish their Super Rugby careers at the same time.
The Japan-bound Lealiifano has recovered from leukaemia to spearhead the Brumbies' title bid and is on the verge of earning a Wallabies recall.
"It's very easy for the bubble of professional sport to feel like this is the most important thing in the world," Pocock said.
"[Lealiifano] makes people feel at ease. Guys want to be around him. To sum him up, he takes rugby seriously but doesn't take himself seriously at all. I think that's a special thing. To see him back playing like he is, in such good form, it's inspirational actually. He is an amazing guy."
SUPER RUGBY QUARTER FINAL
Saturday: ACT Brumbies v Durban Sharks at Canberra Stadium, 8.05pm. Tickets available from Ticketek