Pocock defends partnership with Hooper

Mon, 05 Sep 2016 15:15

IN THE SPOTLIGHT: Wallaby loose forward David Pocock has defended his partnership with Michael Hooper in Australia's back row.

Australia's loose forward combination has received a lot of criticism in recent weeks because of their lack of height.

The Wallabies have struggled in the line-outs against the All Blacks in recent weeks and there has been renewed calls for the team to add more height in the back row.

However, Pocock feels there is no need to break up his partnership with Hooper.

"I've really enjoyed playing alongside Hoops [Hooper]. I think he's probably got a lot of my John Eales Medal votes," Pocock told rugby,com.au.

"I feel like he gets through a huge amount of work and really contributes and he's a real leader within the team.

“I mean we'll leave those comments and speculation to others.

"For us as players, we're trying to improve that combination and get out there and be the best back row we can, individually and as a group."

Pocock added: "I think most teams are still looking to have that on the ball presence," he said.

"A lot of players across the field are starting to get a lot better at it - a few props, hookers, some of the outside backs.

"[When we played] against England, they had a number of guys who were getting good turnovers against us, the All Blacks pressure the ball with their second rowers, Sam Cane's pretty handy in that area too.

"So, I think there's still definitely a role for it - a lot of it depends on the amount of space that the opposition team gives in that area."

Australia's opponents on Saturday, the Springboks, have their own selection dilemma for the openside flank role with Jaco Kriel putting pressure on Francois Louw for a starting berth.

However, for Pocock, both players will pose a big threat.

"I think they're both outstanding," he said.

"I think their timing's really good and they're big guys so they're pretty hard to move once they get onto the ball.

"I guess that's up to their coaches as to who they think's going to be better against us but both are really big threats."

Source: rugby.com.au

There are currently no matches being played
FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Fri, 24 November 2017
Cheetahs v Edinburgh 17h30 Bloemfontein
Ulster v Treviso 19h05 Kingspan Stadium
Cardiff Blues v Connacht 19h35 Cardiff Arms Park
Leinster v Dragons 19h35 RDS Stadium
Newcastle Falcons v Gloucester 19h45 Kingston Park
Sat, 25 November 2017
Leicester Tigers v Worcester Warriors 12h45 Welford Road
Bath v Harlequins 12h45 Recreation Ground
Italy v South Africa 13h00 Rome
Scotland v Australia 14h30 Edinburgh
England v Samoa 15h00 Twickenham
Wales v New Zealand 17h15 Cardiff
Sale Sharks v Northampton Saints 17h30 AJ Bell Stadium
Ireland v Argentina 17h30 Aviva Stadium
France v Japan 19h00 Paris
Sun, 26 November 2017
Ospreys v Glasgow Warriors 13h00 Liberty Stadium
Kings v Scarlets 13h00 Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium
Zebre v Munster 13h30 Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi
Saracens v Exeter Chiefs 15h00 Allianz Park
London Irish v Wasps 15h00 Madejski Stadium
RUGBY CHAMPIONSHIP
MORE LOGS
Team P W D L Pts
New Zealand 6 6 0 0 28
Australia 6 2 2 2 15
South Africa 6 2 2 1 14
Argentina 6 0 0 6 0