David Pocock feels he’s almost back to career-best form as competition for the Wallabies openside flanker role heats up.
Former Wallabies skipper Pocock played just five Super Rugby games across 2013 and 2014 after two knee reconstructions, and earlier this season was sidelined for a month with an ankle injury.
But the 27-year-old has consistently been among the Brumbies’ best since his return, again dominating the breakdown in trademark fashion even with a heavily-strapped and painful dislocated finger.
“I feel like I’m starting to get there,” said Pocock on Wednesday on whether he was back to the form that made him the Wallabies first-choice No.7 in 2010.
“As a player, there’s always parts of your game you’re not happy with and you’re trying to continue to improve.
“But I am starting to feel like I’m getting a bit of timing back and I’m really enjoying myself, which I think is key.”
Pocock is among a world-class bunch of openside flankers chasing a Rugby World Cup berth for the Wallabies, led by incumbent national skipper Michael Hooper and including Liam Gill and veteran Matt Hodgson.
He will come face-to-face with Hodgson on Friday in Perth, when the Brumbies do battle with Western Force for a chance to reclaim the Australian conference lead from the NSW Waratahs.
“We played alongside each other for a long time, so I always look forward to it,” said ex-Force player Pocock.
“It’s always a fierce rivalry on the field and I’m sure we’ll catch up after the game.”
But Pocock had no interest in guessing what his performance could mean for Wallabies selection.
“That’s something that you leave to the media and the commentators to talk about,” he said.
“As a player you’re more focused on getting the win with the Brumbies and that’s certainly my focus going over there.”
Pocock is expecting a hungry Force outfit as they fight avoid Super Rugby’s wooden spoon.
“They’re a team that really steps up against other Australian teams, particularly teams at the top of the ladder,” he said.
“You look at the Tahs, they’ve lost twice to the Force this year and we’ve lost twice to the Tahs, so we know what they can do.
“They don’t have anything to lose and I’m sure that’ll be their attitude.
“They’ll be looking to make it as hard as possible for us.”