Rugby World Cup 2019: Australian star David Pocock signals looming retirement

  • 06/09/2019

Wallabies back-row star David Pocock will retire from test rugby after the upcoming World Cup.

Pocock will captain Australia against Samoa in Sydney on Saturday, in what will now be his final test in Australia and his 78th overall.

"I feel like it's time for me to move onto other things and contribute in other areas," Pocock said.

This will be his first test of the year, after a calf injury sidelined him in March and limited him to just 137 minutes across three Super Rugby games for the Brumbies.

Saturday's match at Bankwest Stadium will now be the last test on home soil for at least four Wallabies, with prop Sekope Kepu, halfback Will Genia and hooker Tatafu Polota-Nau all announcing they would retire after the World Cup.

Pocock delivered the news in typically understated fashion, referring to long-time teammate Genia and himself finishing up together in Sydney.

Asked if it would be his last test in Australia, Pocock said: "I think so, yeah."

A few minutes after the press conference finished, the Wallabies tweeted Pocock would retire from international rugby after the World Cup.

In May, the 31-year-old Zimbabwean-born forward announced he was retiring from Super Rugby.

Asked if his deteriorating body was behind his decision, Pocock said: "A few different things.

"Looking at the flankers coming through, I think we're in good hands and that's exciting for Australian rugby.

"I feel like I've put a lot into it, I've really enjoyed it. I've benefited a huge amount.

"As an immigrant to Australia, rugby has provided me with somewhere to make friends, to feel like I belong.

"Obviously, I've gone on to get huge opportunities playing professional rugby at the Force, Brumbies and for the Wallabies.

"It's time to move on to other things and contribute in other areas."

Pocock was impressed by the potential of emerging flankers Rob Valetini and Liam Wright, who are poised to win their first and second caps respectively off the bench on Saturday.

Pocock has captained Australia on several occasions and was relishing the chance to perform the role in his final home test.

"It's something [Wallabies coach Michael Cheika] had talked to me about during the camp," he said. "It's always a huge honour to serve the team in that role and something I'm excited about doing."

After the World Cup, Pocock will play for Japanese club side Panasonic Wild Knights next year.


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