Wallabies coach Michael Cheika hopes he can finally launch champion flanker David Pocock into action in the second Bledisloe Cup Test in Auckland on Saturday week.
Sidelined since March by a particularly troublesome calf injury and not considered for the Bledisloe opener in Perth on Saturday, Pocock is cutting it fine to get any game time at all before the World Cup.
But Cheika says Pocock appears almost ready, with the Eden Park match a real possibility.
“He has trained all week with the team, slightly modified but this is the most he has done with the team so he is getting very close,” Cheika said.
“He will train fully with the team today and I am hoping he will be available next week.”
Restricted to three games for the Brumbies this season, Pocock retired from Super Rugby in March after suffering a rare calf injury during a Wallabies training camp in January.
But the reigning John Eales Medallist has been back doing full-contact sessions with the Wallabies in Perth, placing the world champion All Blacks on guard.
“He’s got to get through a week of full-on running and training and, once he does that, I think he’s not too far away. Then they’ll say he’s ready to play a Test match,” George Gregan told The Back Page on Fox Sports.
“So he went from not being able to run – they had a lot of issues with that calf – but he’s almost close to completing a full week of training and I think if he could do that, then why not throw him in?
“We know what he does when he comes back from a long break. It’s not as though he needs two or three games to get his rhythm. His rhythm’s always pretty damn good, Poey.”
The most experienced Wallaby in history, Gregan has enjoyed assisting Michael Cheika in a cameo role during the Rugby Championship.
The 139-Test halfback spent time with Australia’s playmakers and leadership group before clashes with Argentina and South Africa in Brisbane and Johannesburg.
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