Wallabies superstar David Pocock needs space and time – not an overload of advice – to make a call on his future in Australian rugby, skipper Stephen Moore says.
Pocock is yet to announce what he will do once his contract expires at the end of the Super Rugby season, but has expressed a desire to take a year off to study in the UK.
Moore insists speculation about his next move hasn’t been a distraction for the Brumbies, who open their 2016 campaign against last year’s finalists the Hurricanes on Friday at GIO Stadium.
“And I don’t think putting deadlines on it will certainly help,” he said on Monday.
“David will work it out in his own time and we’ll just get on with playing.”
Moore himself dropped a bombshell on the Canberra-based franchise in December when he signed with his former club Queensland Reds from 2017.
Asked whether Pocock had sought his counsel, or if he’d reached out to speak about his situation, the Australian hooker said there were enough people giving him advice.
“What I know is people in Australian rugby are working incredibly hard to keep Dave in Australia and playing for the Wallabies,” he said.
“There’s many different scenarios that can be worked out there.
“He’ll have an idea of what he wants to do and I’m sure the people involved are working hard to make that happen.”
Pocock was asked on Monday by former Wallabies coach Alan Jones if he was going to take a sabbatical in 2017, to which he replied: “We’ll wait and see.
“I’m busy talking to the Australian Rugby Union at the moment,” he told Sydney’s 2GB radio ahead of the first episode of a two-part Australian Story series to air on the ABC on Monday night.
Pocock told the program he and his partner Emma are both interested in considering the possibility of working in Zimbabwe, where he grew up, once he finishes playing rugby.
He is currently studying a Bachelor of Ecological Agricultural Systems, while Emma has completed a Masters in International Development.
“I’ve hopefully got a few more years of rugby to go, and yeah, we’ll explore things in those years and continue to try and be open to things and get involved in things that we enjoy.”
It was revealed last week English club Wasps had contacted Pocock’s representatives and indicated they were prepared to offer the flanker a package in excess of $2.8 million per season.
That would make him the world’s highest-paid rugby player, passing former All Black and World Cup-winning five-eighth Dan Carter following his deal with French club Racing 92.