Former Wallabies captain and flanker David Pocock has retired from rugby with immediate effect.
The Zimbabwean-born forward played for Western Force, Brumbies and Panasonic Wild Knights at club level where he clocked up to 9268 minutes. He represented Wallabies 83 times across 11 years.
His announcement means he will not be returning to Panasonic Wild Knights where he was set to link up with former Wallabies coach Robbie Deans.
“There’s this author in the (United) States, Rob Bell, who I’ve really enjoyed his stuff over the years, and I’ve heard him say, ‘You can leave when it feels like a graduation or you can hang in there and you have to leave when it feels like a divorce’. I’m hoping that it’s going to feel like a graduation,” Pocock told RUGBY.com.au
34 – David Pocock won 34 turnovers at the @rugbyworldcup, more than any other player in the history of the tournament, including 17 in 2015 – a record for a single edition. Fetching. https://t.co/VkcOLRm0NP
— OptaJason (@OptaJason) October 23, 2020
“While it was a tough decision, it really feels like the right one now and as a lot of former athletes talk about, it’s not going to be smooth sailing but it’s going to be a great challenge.”
He captained Wallabies in 2012, appeared at three World Cups – including a memorable 2015 campaign. He holds that the 2019’s World Cup 40-16 loss to England was a painful exit.
“On the day, we were fairly soundly beaten by a pretty good English team. It certainly does (haunt you). You wonder if you were on the other side of the draw, not losing that game to Wales (29-25), but that’s sport, that’s the great thing about sport, you get an opportunity and if you’re not the most deserving on the day then that’s what history records.”
As he exits he hopes to continue serving rugby at Grassroot level in Zimbabwe and Australia.
“Rugby has given me so many opportunities, and I’m really keen to continue supporting the next generation of players here in Australia and in Zimbabwe,” he explained.
“There’s so much young talent in both places who could really benefit from strong pathways.”