David Pocock will captain the Brumbies in their Super Rugby season opener against the Queensland Reds on Friday night, with head coach Stephen Larkham boldly tipping the luckless No.7 to return to the paddock in world best form.
Pocock, who will become the Brumbies’ 13th captain, has been temporarily handed the team reins while incumbent skipper Stephen Moore eases his way back into the side from the bench.
Both players missed large chunks of the 2014 season due to knee injuries.
The blow was especially cruel for Pocock, who re-injured his left ACL after just two Super Rugby games back following an initial tear in 2013.
Pocock was rated among the world’s best flankers before the double blow, and Larkham has no doubts he’ll hit the ground running when he takes on the Queensland Reds in Canberra come Friday.
When asked if it would take Pocock a few games to rediscover his world best form, Larkham replied: “No, he’s ready to go. I think we’ll see the best from Poey this weekend.
“The way he played those first two trial matches you can see he’s back to his best.”
Pocock’s elevation to Brumbies captain puts him up alongside rugby greats George Gregan, George Smith, and Stirling Mortlock, to name a few.
It’s not a job he’s unfamiliar with, however, having previously captained both the Wallabies and the Western Force.
“It’s a great honour. The names of players who have previously captained the Brumbies make up a pretty impressive list,” Pocock said.
However the captaincy role won’t be the only task on Pocock’s mind come Saturday night.
He’s been directed by Larkham to ensure code-hopper and former Churchie schoolmate Karmichael Hunt has a torrid Super Rugby debut for the Reds at flyhalf.
“He was a couple of years ahead of me and obviously I watched him keenly,” Pocock said.
“I really looked up to him at school.
“He was one of the best schoolboys I’ve seen playing rugby, and it’s fantastic to have him back in the game.”