Australia

Deans to play it safe with Pocock

Tue, 06 Nov 2012 18:15
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Australian flank David Pocock may miss out on Saturday's Test with France because coach Robbie Deans wants to give him more time to recover from a knee operation.

Deans, who is conscious about protecting Australia's top-four ranking during the European tour so they top a group at the 2015 World Cup draw in December, is looking more to playing 24-year-old Pocock in the game against England on November 17 according to the coaching staff.

The good form of the 45-times capped Pocock's stand-in Michael Hooper has made Deans's choice simpler for the Test at the Stade de France - the first time the two sides have met since the Wallabies inflicted a 59-16 hammering on the French at the same venue two years ago.

Pocock, who underwent the operation at the end of August, did participate fully in training on Tuesday as did experienced hooker Stephen Moore, the 29-year-old has been suffering from hamstring problems but is in line to win his 80th cap against the French.

Three of the other members of the squad, though, face a harder task to be fit.

Utility back Digby Ioane is recovering from a knee injury and did not train with the majority of the squad, content to do some light running while both lock Sitaleki Timani and prop Ben Alexander, who have been suffering from back and wrist injuries respectively, also trained separately.

A final decision on whether any of them play a role in the game will be taken on Thursday morning with the starting team announced on Friday.

AFP

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