Sat 27 Jul 2019 | 10:25

Wallabies hope for Pocock boost

Wallabies hope for Pocock boost
Sat 27 Jul 2019 | 10:25
Wallabies hope for Pocock boost
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David Pocock will push his case for a return in Perth’s Bledisloe Cup opener as Michael Cheika flirts with the idea of further changes to face New Zealand in a fortnight.

The world-class flanker has been sidelined by a calf injury since March but ran strong on Friday and is a chance of returning for the August 10 clash with the All Blacks.

His inclusion would add significant lustre to a side that ground down Argentina in a hard-earned 16-10 defeat in Brisbane on Saturday – just the Wallabies’ fifth victory from their last 17 Tests.

Cheika said Pocock would likely be given a chance to prove himself for what will be the side’s third-last clash before their World Cup opener in September.

“I wanted to stay away from putting a date on it, there have been too many dates put on it already,” the coach said of the 31-year-old’s strung-out return.

“On Friday he ran at full game speed and he’s getting everything sorted out so we’ll see how he recovers.

“He needs to do a whole week with the team and once he’s done that he’ll be right.”

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Cheika made five changes to both the starting side and the bench and was pleased with what he saw from No.10 Christian Lealiifano in his first game since a three-year Test absence punctuated by a battle with cancer.

Saturday was treated as a chance to “have a look” at his cattle and Cheika hinted it would remain that way against the All Blacks with Allan Ala’alatoa, Adam Coleman, Adam Ashley-Cooper and Pocock among squad members yet to see any Rugby Championship action.

“There might still be a place for a player or two that hasn’t played as yet,” Cheika said when asked if his intention was to field what he thought was his best side in Perth.

“[We’ll take] as big a step as we want to take [against New Zealand]. It’s up to us.”

Australia’s forwards were impressive against a traditionally powerful Argentinian set-piece, while Japan-bound Queensland favourite Will Genia was best on the ground in his last Brisbane Test

“We’ve all been putting in big shifts and you just need a little bit of a pat on the back in that way to show that what you can do,” captain Michael Hooper said.

“We’ve got a little bit of a blueprint now and we need to add to that and certainly get better.”

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Wallabies Hope For Pocock Boost - Australia | Rugby365