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Rugby

15th Jan 2016

Red alert! David Pocock to decide his future in the coming days

Break the bank

Patrick McCarry

The queue to speak with the Wallabies back-row must be stretched out the street and around the corner.

David Pocock is back in pre-season training for ACT Brumbies ahead of the 2016 Super Rugby campaign.

The 27-year-old forward, who was simply immense for his country in the World Cup, is signed up with Brumbies until the end of the upcoming season. After that? Pocock has admitted he is undecided.

There are plenty of European clubs looking to sign him up.

According to Midi Olympique, Toulon, Toulouse, Racing 92 and Bordeaux have all reached out to Pocock’s agent. Several Aviva Premiership clubs have also expressed an interest in acquiring his ruck-clearing, ball-poaching skills.

Irish provinces have barely been mentioned in dispatches from Down Under but Pocock – who can easily play openside or No.8 – would be ideal for flagging Munster or as a replacement for Cardiff-bound Nick Williams.

Pocock’s concern about a move, expressed last November, was the 2019 World Cup.

Were he to move, it would most likely be on a two-year deal. He would not arrive in Europe until November 2016 but would be available until June 2018. After that, Pocock would have just one Super Rugby season to get himself into the selection mix for the next World Cup.

The Australian Rugby Union changed their policy of non-selection for foreign-based players before last year’s tournament. The criteria state that a player must have spent a significant amount of time in Super Rugby – Pocock ticks that box.

Brumbies are attempting to sign Pocock to a lucrative three-year extension and, according to reports in Australia, he will make his mind up before the season’s February start.

POTENTIAL BACK ROWS

Munster back row

Munster: Peter O’Mahony, David Pocock, CJ Stander

Ulster back row

Ulster: Iain Henderson, Chris Henry, David Pocock