Wallabies flanker David Pocock will plunge straight back into action on his return to Australian rugby after being named in the ACT Brumbies starting lineup against the New South Wales Waratahs on Saturday.
REUTERS: Wallabies flanker David Pocock will plunge straight back into action on his return to Australian rugby after being named in the ACT Brumbies starting lineup against the New South Wales Waratahs on Saturday.
The 29-year-old, who played his last Brumbies match in July 2016, had his return from a year-long sabbatical delayed after picking up a knee injury in January.
“It’s (injury) been frustrating but I’m feeling good now,” Pocock told reporters on Thursday.
“This was always the game picked for the return and having the bye gives you an extra couple of weeks… so it was a realistic.
“You always want to make an impact and starting is one of those things when you get the feel of the game early. I’m sure the lungs will be burning but that’s all part of it.”
Pocock will make his 100th appearance in Super Rugby, having featured 69 times for Western Force before signing for the Brumbies in 2013.
He expected a difficult clash at the Canberra stadium this weekend as he squares off against fellow Australian flanker Michael Hooper.
“I’ve got a lot of respect for Hoops. We get on well off the field so you look forward to those option to play against some of the best players in the game,” Pocock added.
The addition of Pocock to the starting 15 is the only change from the team that defeated the Sharks in round five, which means the Australian loose forward will line up alongside Lachlan McCaffrey and Isi Naisarani in the back row.
Co-captain Sam Carter will remain on the sidelines as he continues his recovery from concussion but hooker Robbie Abel will return on the bench from a rib injury.
After losing his spot to Pocock, Tom Cusack will be joined on the bench by former Force prop Mees Erasmus, who could make his debut.
The Brumbies have won two and lost two in this year’s competition so far.
(Reporting by Hardik Vyas in Bengaluru; Editing by Peter Rutherford)