Tuesday’s rugby news has Pocock on the mend, the Reds halves back in the Test mix, Link forced to get creative and Jake White leaving the Sharks.
Pocock on track for round 1
Former Wallabies captain David Pocock has said that his comeback from a second knee reconstruction is on track, with the openside flanker looking at playing the Brumbies season opener on February 13. Pocock will undergo some training with the Canberra Vikings but will not play in the NRC, instead focusing on his rehab.
“Peter Myers, the surgeon, was really keen for me to have a really full, nine-month rehab so I should get through a full pre-season and be right to go next year,” said Pocock, who has played just five games in his two seasons with the Brumbies.
Reds pair stake their claim
Former Test pairing Quade Cooper and Will Genia are working their way back into Wallabies contention with their increasing minutes with the Brisbane City NRC team. Cooper will play 40 minutes in Brisbane’s upcoming match against the Greater Sydney Rams on Friday while Genia will be in line to start if he is available after returning from Argentina.
Brisbane coach Nick Stiles said he would name Genia and Cooper together at No.9 and No.10 if McKenzie wished. “I’m sure, Wallabies-wise, if you get Will and Quade back playing some game time together it would be good,” Stiles commented.
Link faced with reshuffle
Wallabies coach Ewen McKenzie may have to get creative with his backline, faced with the prospect of losing inside centre Matt Toomua to concussion.
While Kurtley Beale seems the natural choice to start, the Waratahs centre failed to make any impact off the bench last week. When asked of Beale’s performance, Link merely said, “Everyone was trying to do something but we didn’t get any positive outcomes.” Christian Leali’ifano could be another option at 12.
Jake White quits Sharks
World Cup winning coach Jake White has quit as rugby director of the Sharks after only one year. White moved to the Sharks after two seasons with the Brumbies, which included a 2013 finals appearance.
Sharks chief executive and former Springboks captain John Smit praised the impact White had on the franchise. “What he has achieved for us in such a short time is incredible and our staff and players have learnt a huge amount,” he said