‘I think he’ll do wonders for Australian rugby.’
Brumbies flanker David Pocock can’t wait for the day when all the talk of his horror back-to-back knee injuries is finally behind him.
But that won’t be until the Wallabies backrower strings at least two Super Rugby matches together, quipped his coach Stephen Larkham, who was on a high after Pocock led his side to a 47-3 thumping over the Queensland Reds in Canberra on Friday night.
Reds fans played down the return of Pocock ahead of the clash, with punters joking in rugby forums that the burly environmentalist wouldn’t be a presence at the breakdown because he would be too busy chaining himself to the goalposts.
But it was Pocock who had the last laugh.
He was outstanding for 80 minutes in his first Super Rugby match since tearing his ACL 12 months ago for the second time, while Wallabies hooker Stephen Moore was also solid in his 30-minute return from knee surgery.
In picking up the man-of-the-match award, Pocock made a game-high 11 runs and constantly slowed down the Reds’ ball at the ruck.
“I loved it. It was a really good way to start the year,” Pocock said.
“It hasn’t worried me (people talking about my knee), I’m feeling good. But I’m looking forward to the day when people don’t ask about it.”
Moore, who tore ligaments in his left knee during his Wallabies captaincy debut last June, was similarly chuffed post-match.
Despite a severe case of pre-match nerves, Moore said his knee felt “really good” out on the pitch.
“It was my first game for eight months, I’ve never been through that before,” he said.
“I just tried to think of my job out there and luckily the boys had the game set nicely up.
“I was pretty tired, it was my first hit-out. But it’s good to have the first one out of the way.”
The duo will now turn their attention to round two away to the Chiefs next Friday in New Plymouth.