David Pocock is set to line up in the World Cup. Picture: AAP
David Pocock is set to line up in the World Cup. Picture: AAP

Pocock ends Super time to improve Cup chances

WALLABIES and Brumbies superstar David Pocock has retired from Super Rugby but hopes to play at the World Cup later this year.

The 77-Test veteran hasn't played a minute in the Brumbies' last nine games and just 138 minutes in three games this season with a frustrating calf injury keeping him sidelined.

The 31-year-old met with Wallabies and Brumbies medical staff last week and agreed to end his Super Rugby career in a bid to feature at the World Cup.

Pocock has a contract after the tournament with the Panasonic Wild Knights and will likely retire when that deal ends next year.

His muscular body has been ravaged by injuries and targeting like the insidious neck rolls that forced him to miss Tests last season.

Even with the time he's had off this season, he turns his head like a stiff 70-year-old man at times.

"The Brumbies have given me a home for the last seven years. They've supported me through injury and given me the opportunity to work on my game and my leadership as part of an incredible group of men," Pocock said.

"After 13 years of professional rugby, I'm looking forward to the challenges the rest of this year holds and also thinking about what comes next."

David Pocock will call time on his Brumbies career. Picture: AAP
David Pocock will call time on his Brumbies career. Picture: AAP

Pocock is considered one of the best on-ball players in the world and spent 13 seasons in Australian rugby with the Western Force and Brumbies. But recurring injuries meant he only played 43 of 100 games since joining the Brumbies in 2012 and missed most of 2013 and 2014 with knee injuries.

The Brumbies have three games remaining and are in the box seat to top the Australian conference and play finals for the first time since 2017.

They have already moved to fill his boots by signing NSW Waratahs flanker Will Miller for next year.

Managing Pocock's influential outings will be part of the Wallabies' careful planning for their reduced domestic program of five Tests before the World Cup.

It means more of the backrow tinkering that has become standard for the initial Tests against South Africa in Johannesburg (July 20) and Argentina in Brisbane a week later.

Pocock’s Wallabies future remains cloudy. Picture: Getty
Pocock’s Wallabies future remains cloudy. Picture: Getty

Tickets for the July 27 date against the Pumas at Suncorp Stadium go on sale on Friday at reasonable prices, starting at $19 (junior), $39 (adult) and $97 (family).

There'll be a taste at the same venue on Saturday night because the in-form Jaguares, in town to take on the Reds, are the Argentinian Test side by another name.

Lukhan Salakaia-Loto is relishing his switch from lock to blindside flanker at the Reds and the case he can mount for regular time in the position for the Wallabies.

The competition for Wallabies' backrow spots keeps Salakaia-Loto on his toes.

The Melbourne Rebels re-signing young backrower Isi Naisarani for two years shows how highly another contender at No.6 is rated.

"I doubt anyone running around thinks they've got a spot cemented...just the coach (Michael Cheika)," Salakaia-Loto said.

"It's open for everyone."

His fortitude for his family has been impressive since the death of his father last September in the week the Wallabies lost to Argentina on the Gold Coast.

"It's been a pretty rough 12 months in my life, not only for myself but my family," Salakaia-Loto said.

"There's a lot of motivation to do well and tick off goals that I've set."