Pocock ready for next generation Kiwis

Sat, 13 Aug 2016 08:14

INTERVIEW: There is a new generation of New Zealand loose forwards to torment Wallaby David Pocock, but he is looking forward to the challenge.

With All Black legend Richie McCaw having retired after last year's World Cup, Pocock - who met up with the former New Zealand captain in 16 Tests - will face some new adversaries in Sam Cane and Ardie Savea.

Pocock acknowledged that All Blacks coach Steve Hansen had a difficult decision to make - choosing between Cane and Savea for the upcoming Rugby Championship.

"They are both very talented," Pocock told the Australian Associated Press.

"It's the kind of headache you want as a coach," Pocock added.

Pocock said there will be a different feel to the All Black team, with no McCaw there.

"He was a feature for as long as I can remember, watching and playing, so certainly it's a different [New Zealand] back row combination there," Pocock said.

"But from what we've seen during Super Rugby and the June Tests, there's certainly no shortage of talent in that area for the New Zealand team."

Pocock missed the June series against England with a fractured eye socket.

With Pocock off on a sabbatical next year, Wallaby coach Michael Cheika said there was no long-term plan to permanently stick with the back row formation containing two specialist openside loose forwards.

It worked very effectively at the World Cup, where Pocock played at No.8 and Michael Hooper at No.7.

"It's really about being able to play with both [formations]," Cheika said.

"Being able to play with the two openside loose forwards in that format and also in a more traditional back row. We haven't decided," Cheika said.

Source: AAP