David Pocock Has Done The Hard Work. Now The Wallabies Face An Even Harder Call
Wallabies coach Michael Cheika has declared David Pocock as “100 per cent fit” for his rugby return but is not yet revealing how he plans to unleash his breakdown ace at the World Cup.
The Wallabies flew in to Sydney on Thursday afternoon after a gruelling 10 day camp in New Caledonia at which Cheika “pushed the boundaries” of his players’ limits with both “old school and new school” training techniques.
Pocock, sidelined for six months with an unusual calf injury, passed that test with flying colours, with Cheika saying his star flanker had been “getting smashed, doing everything” in the Noumea heat and humidity.
The 31-year-old’s reward is to captain Australia in their final warm-up Test against Samoa in Sydney on Saturday.
“Definitely 100 per cent fit,” Cheika said of Pocock.
“He hasn’t had to be managed at all.
“I don’t think he’ll play a full match.
“But Poey’s a leader by nature in his actions and he’ll take the team with him on Saturday.”
Barring a setback at Bankwest Stadium, Pocock’s return will present the three Wallabies selectors with a welcome headache for their World Cup opener against Fiji in Sapporo on September 21.
Captain Michael Hooper — rested for the Samoa clash — will wear No 7 and the temptation for Pocock to join him in the starting XV will surely be strong.
With Israel Folau out of the equation the Wallabies do not have many genuinely world class players.
“A lot of players have got selection opportunities for the first match (against Fiji),” Cheika said, in reference to his decision to field a largely second string line-up against Samoa.
“A lot of them haven’t had that.
“We’ve got our ideas of what we want the squad to look like, tactically (against Fiji), and the players that will fit that.”
The Wallabies held a similarly tough camp in the United States before the 2015 World Cup as Cheika engineered an unexpected run to the final.
While stressing that the journey was just beginning, Cheika said he was getting a good vibe from the squad following a hard to make sense of 1-1 Bledisloe Cup series against New Zealand.
Author: Sam Worthington