Mowen is liberal with Pocock plaudits
It may have been a low-key hit-out, but Brumbies captain Ben Mowen was liberal with the plaudits directed at David Pocock.
It may have been a low-key pre-season hit-out against a second string selection, but Brumbies captain Ben Mowen was liberal with the plaudits directed at David Pocock.
Pocock showed no signs of the knee injury that disrupted his 2013 campaign, as he featured in the Brumbies selection that recorded a 67-0 thrashing of an ACT XV in Canberra at the weekend.
Mowen said it's taken just two games for his form to return to international standard.
"It was hard not to keep an eye on him [during the game], because he was turning over so much ball," Mowen told the Australian Associate Press.
"I thought he was back to where he's been at international standard."
Even more impressive is the speed at which Pocock's confidence has returned after 11 months on the sidelines, as the mental barriers can be as difficult to overcome as the physical barriers.
"I know myself when I came back from a knee reconstruction, it usually takes you five or six games to get going," Mowen said.
"The positive signs for him is that he's back to where he was - that's really exciting.
"He made a couple of good offloads, some really good carries over the gain line, and if you pair that up with his base game, which is a very high standard, you're looking at a very complete player."
With the Brumbies just two weeks away from their Super Rugby season opener against the Reds, the No.7's return to form sets up a salivating battle against flanker Liam Gill - set to provide a true indicator on exactly where Pocock's form is at.
"I always try and avoid making it a No.7 on No.7 battle," Pocock said.
"But [Gill] has been great and putting pressure on Michael [Hooper] for that spot over the Wallabies' season, so it will be a big challenge."
In the meantime Pocock says he'll continue to blow out the cobwebs.
"It's good to get a bit more rhythm and a bit more work in defence and attack," he said.
"You can do as much training as you want, but getting that match fitness is different. It's good to be out there again."