Wallaby flanker David Pocock will retire from international rugby following the World Cup.
The 31-year-old will make his 78th Test appearance for Australia on Saturday when he captains the side against Samoa in Parramatta. The destructive flanker announced today however that he will bring the curtain down on his illustrious Wallabies career following this year’s tournament in Japan.
The veteran back-rower made the announcement in typical Pocock style, subtly slipping in that this weekend will be his last test game on home soil.
Pocock also paid homage to Will Genia who he came up alongside as both of them prepare to bring their international careers to a close.
“Any injury can be career-ending and as players, we talk about it often, you never know when your last game is going to be, so to be back here with this opportunity tomorrow night,” Pocock told Rugby Australia’s official website.
“Look at who I get to play alongside – Willy Genia, we played our first run-on start about 10 years ago against South Africa together, so to both finish up together here in Sydney is special and we want to make the most of that.”
When asked about those players preparing to play their final home Test on Saturday, Pocock included himself in that group.
“I guess on a personal note, it adds a bit, you reflect on the time you’ve had in the Wallabies jersey, what you’ve tried to add, the legacy you hope you’ll leave and then just the opportunity to play in front of family and friends one last time,” he said.
“That’s all great but it all comes down to the team effort really and I think that’s been the focus for the guys.
“We know that without a good team performance, it won’t be as special.”
Pocock claimed a major factor in his decision to retire was seeing the rise of Australia’s young back-rowers, including Liam Wright and Rob Valetini, who will both play for the Wallabies on Saturday.
“I think looking at the flankers coming through, I think we’re in good hands and that’s exciting for Australian rugby,” he said.
“I feel like I’ve put a lot into it, I’ve really enjoyed it, benefited a huge amount.
“As an immigrant to Australia, rugby’s provided me with somewhere to make friends, to feel like I belong and obviously gone on to get huge opportunities playing professional rugby – Force, Brumbies and for the Wallabies.
“So, I feel like it’s time to move on to other things and contribute in other areas.”