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Pocock is no longer a Force

Sat, 28 Jul 2012 11:29
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David's concerns were principally around the franchise's inability to recruit high-profile players
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The hapless Western Force have been dealt a crippling blow with the news that captain David Pocock will depart Perth.

The Force, in a statement on Saturday, said the Wallaby skipper, Pocock, decided to move on because of the franchise's "inability to recruit high-profile players".

Although the Force statement does not say so, and Pocock has been mum on his twitter account on the subject, the Australian media reports it as fact that he will sign with the Brumbies.

His departure is a huge blow to the struggling Perth outfit, who will also be without long-serving captain and Wallaby lock Nathan Sharpe - who will retire in the next month or two.

In recent seasons they have also lost other high-profile players like Matt Giteau and James O'Connor, leaving them threadbare thin in the talent department.

"It is with considerable regret that RugbyWA has learnt of David Pocock's decision to leave the Western Force at the conclusion of the 2012 Super Rugby season," the Force statement said.

"David has been a highly-valued member of the squad since joining the franchise as part of its foundation squad for the 2006 season.
 
"In his time with us he has risen from a junior player to Western Force captain to Wallaby captain and we are proud that we have given him our full support for him to achieve this remarkable place in Australian rugby.
 
"For the past six months, RugbyWA has done everything within its power to retain his services as a leading player within the Western Force.
 
"David's concerns were principally around the franchise's inability to recruit high-profile players with this challenge highlighted by the recent opportunity presented to Will Genia, which ultimately was unsuccessful in bringing him to WA.

"This difficulty has since been acknowledged by the Australian Rugby Union in their provision of further concessions for the Western Force regarding international players for the 2013 season and beyond.
 
"While we are disappointed with his decision, we wish David well. RugbyWA has done everything to develop and support David throughout his time with the Western Force. This has included his development over 69 Super Rugby matches with the franchise, fast-tracking his appointment as captain of the side for 2012 and supporting his charity, Eightytwenty Vision.
 
"In recent times, since the departure of Richard Graham, David has been part of the board and management process in recruiting players and identifying the next Western Force head coach.
 
"Despite David's announcement, the Western Force continues its preparations for the 2013 Super Rugby season.

"We will continue to boast one of the best forward packs in the competition, including excellent back row coverage through Test players Ben McCalman, Richard Brown and Matt Hodgson, and outstanding young players Angus Cotterill and Lachie McCaffrey.
 
"In the modern rugby landscape, player movements are much more commonplace, leaving the door open for a return to their original franchise. David will always have a special place at the Western Force and should the opportunity arise down the track for him to return, we would welcome him back with open arms."

Speculation has been rife that Pocock will on Monday commit to the Brumbies, especially since their outstanding young flanker Michael Hooper is switching to the Waratahs.

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