Tuesday 07

Rugby Union

Wallabies receive Pocock boost

2nd August 2019, 17:25 by Tom McGarry

Back-row forward David Pocock has returned to Australia's squad for next week's Rugby Championship clash with New Zealand.

The openside flanker has been sidelined since March by a long-standing calf problem and was forced to miss almost the entirety of the Brumbies' Super Rugby season.

The 31-year-old also sat out the Wallabies' opening two matches of this year's Rugby Championship against South Africa and Argentina, but he has now returned to the squad ahead of next week's Test against the All Blacks in Perth.

Perhaps more importantly, Pocock's return means he should be available to represent Australia at his third World Cup in Japan later this year.

At the other end of the spectrum there is also a call-up for uncapped fullback Jordan Petaia, who has recently returned to fitness following a foot injury.

A separate injury scuppered Petaia's chances of making his international debut against Italy last year and head coach Michael Cheika is delighted to welcome the teenager back into the fold.

"Squad decisions are getting harder and harder to make," Cheika said. "So many lads are putting their hands up at training and at club rugby around the country, and each one of them is pushing the other to get better each day.

"It's great to see Jordan (Petaia) back. He's had a few games of club rugby under his belt now, so we'll look to integrate him this week in Perth and give him time to settle in."

This article originated on sportinastorm.com

Tom McGarry completed his sports journalist degree in 2011,and has since has become an integral part of the editorial and audio team. He is passionate about all things sport, particularly football, and is a lifelong supporter of his hometown club Carlisle United.

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