Australia flanker David Pocock has confirmed that he will retire from international rugby at the end of the upcoming World Cup in Japan that kicks-off later this month.
Pocock has been struggling with injuries with the latest being a calf problem that kept him out of Wallabies appearance this year. Even though he is now slated for a return in the upcoming encounter against Samoa in Parramatta this weekend where he will lead Australia, the 31-year-old believes the time is right to step down.
“Any injury can be career-ending and as players, we talk about it often, you never know when your last game is going to be, so to be back here with this opportunity tomorrow night,” Pocock told Rugby Australia’s official website.
“Look at who I get to play alongside – Willy Genia, we played our first run-on start about 10 years ago against South Africa together, so to both finish up together here in Sydney is special and we want to make the most of that.”
Pocock has already announced his retirement from Super Rugby where he represented Brumbies earlier this year to focus on the World Cup and now will be featuring in the Wallabies jersey for one final time at home when he takes the field on Saturday.
“I guess on a personal note, it adds a bit, 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.
“That’s all great but it all comes down to the team effort really and I think that’s been the focus for the guys.
“We know that without a good team performance, it won’t be as special.”
Pocock made his debut for Australia in the Bledisloe Cup contest in 2008 and has gone on to play 77 games for his country. He was also part of the 2011 and 2015 World Cup squads.
He will be featuring for the Panasonic Wild Knights in the Japanese Top League post World Cup.