David Pocock in race for World Cup fitness after announcing domestic retirement

David Pocock

David Pocock has not played for the Brumbies since round four of this Super Rugby season. Photograph: Jason McCawley/Getty Images

David Pocock has called time on his domestic rugby career after a persistent calf injury ruled him out for the remainder of the Super Rugby season, and with no timeframe set for his return to action, doubts hang over the veteran flanker’s participation at the upcoming World Cup.

The 31-year-old has not played since sustaining the injury at a national team training camp in January and on Tuesday announced he will not return to fields in Australia, bringing to an end a distinguished career that has seen him make 112 Super Rugby appearances.

Pocock, who has represented his country 77 times, consulted with Brumbies and Wallabies medical staff before making the decision to focus on regaining fitness for the tournament in Japan later this year.

Asked if he was confident of proving his fitness for the Wallabies in time, he said: “You’re obviously aiming for that and that’s what is driving you. To pull on the Wallabies jersey is my goal. It’s a huge honour and I’ll be doing everything I can.

“You can’t speed up the healing process. You do everything you can, but not push yourself too hard.”

The Brumbies had earlier confirmed that Pocock’s recovery from his rare calf strain was not progressing as the club hoped and there was no exact timeframe for his return to the field.

Recovery permitting, the former Western Force player will take up a contract with Panasonic Wild Knights in Japan after the World Cup. He will likely retire from all forms of rugby once that deal expires.

“The Brumbies have given me a home for the last seven years,” Pocock said. “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.

“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. The Brumbies and all supporters have been very good to me since my move to Canberra in 2013. I am grateful for their support.”


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