Australian rugby could be without one of its biggest names for 12 months with Wallabies back-rower David Pocock reportedly considering taking a sabbatical from the game to study.
While Pocock is locked in an Australian Rugby Union (ARU) contract until the end of 2016, the 27-year-old is weighing up a move in England in 2017 to pursue post-football endeavours.
Australia’s best player at the 2015 World Cup, Pocock is currently in discussions with Brumbies coach Stephen Larkham and chief executive Michael Jones, while Wallabies coach Michael Cheika has also been in Canberra to discuss the star player’s future.
While it is understood the ARU would reluctantly allow Pocock to travel overseas and attend Oxford or Cambridge University for a year, the Brumbies are not as welcoming to the idea.
“It creates all sorts of problems if Poey takes a break,” Jones told News Corp Australia.
“My preferred solution, and our offer to him, doesn’t allow a break.”
Such an offer from the ARU however would still give him two full Super Rugby seasons to prepare for the 2019 World Cup in Japan.
Pocock has also been pursued by cashed-up Japanese and French clubs, while he is also being touted as a possible replacement for Liam Gill at the Queensland Reds with the flanker heading to Toulon at the end of the year.
Pocock is currently studying a Bachelor of Ecological Agricultural Systems, however he has not confirmed if that is the degree he would continue in full-time study.