6 Sep 2019

Rugby: Pocock confirms Wallabies retirement

5:02 pm on 6 September 2019

The Wallabies captain David Pocock has confirmed he will retire form test rugby after the Rugby World Cup in Japan.

The 31-year-old flanker, who will lead Australia in their final World Cup warm-up against Samoa in Sydney on Saturday.

Pocock said it was going to be good "finishing up" with scrumhalf Will Genia.

"I guess on a personal note, it adds a bit," he said.

"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.

Wallabies loose forward David Pocock.

Wallabies loose forward David Pocock. Photo: Photosport

"We know that without a good team performance, it won't be as special."

A veteran of 77 tests since 2008, Pocock has played almost no rugby this year because of a calf problem and Saturday's match will be his first since March.

It is measure of his quality that he was nevertheless selected in Michael Cheika's World Cup squad and handed the captaincy in place of the rested Michael Hooper for Saturday's test.

Pocock has long been regarded as one of the best poachers of the ball at the breakdown in the world game and all but single-handedly hauled Australia past South Africa in the quarter-finals of the 2011 World Cup.

He linked up with Hooper in a twin-openside back row formation at the 2015 World Cup, where the Wallabies reached the final for the third time but lost to New Zealand.

Genia, prop Sekope Kepu, and hooker Tatafu Polota-Nau are the other Wallabies stalwarts who have confirmed they will be retiring from internationals after the World Cup.

Zimbabwe-born Pocock said that the young back row talent breaking through in Australia had contributed to his decision to walk away after the tournament.

"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."