Last Saturday night at Canberra Stadium saw the Brumbies visit another heavy defeat on big brother, the return of the great George Smith and David Pocock suffer a season-ending injury.
When I heard Pocock was injured I feared the worst, he has suffered his share over the years, however this was the most devastating.
Pocock was going to be selected as Wallabies captain and have a huge influence on the Lions series. He is one of the few Wallabies revered and feared in the northern hemisphere.
His biggest attribute is his strength, he is a beast at the breakdown and you can count on two or three pilfers and the same number of penalties for his team each game. He is now an experienced campaigner too, he will be sorely missed.
Which brings us to his replacements – Michael Hooper, Liam Gill and possibly George Smith.
The young guns are great prospects but are they ready to take on the mighty and punishing Lions pack? In my opinion they aren’t there yet, I would have one of them in the 22 but not both.
The man we must have in the back-row is George Smith – be it at number 6,7 or 8.
The back-row is looking vulnerable without Pocock, Wycliff Palu currently injured and the inability to find an adequate 6.
Smith provides much needed experience, toughness and leadership that will be required to beat the Lions – not to mention a sound game!
I realise there is the small issue of Smith being on loan from Suntory and currently, as an overseas player, is not eligible for Wallaby selection.
But as Nick Farr-Jones often says, “Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead!”
Translation: the ARU must move mountains to secure Smith for the Lions series.