Coach Dan McKellar made five starting changes to the team to face the Lions in Canberra on Saturday but Pocock’s return wasn’t one of them after the 30-year-old failed to come through a Thursday training run as expected.
Before the session, McKellar told reporters that Pocock would be starting for the first time in a month, having overcome a niggling calf problem.
However, a team spokesman told AAP the influential openside hadn’t done enough to convince medical staff he was 100 per cent fit.
McKellar had hinted at the caution required in reintroducing Pocock, pointing out that calf muscles can be fickle.
Pocock has played in three games and missed four so far this season, with concussion accounting for one of his omissions.
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McKellar has made one change to his backline this week and overhauled his tight five from the side beaten 36-14 by the Crusaders last week.
It gives the hosts an all-Wallabies tight five, with prop Allan Alaalatoa having been retained from last week.
Versatile back Tom Wright makes his second start of the year at inside centre, replacing Irae Simone.
Tom Banks, Henry Speight, Tevita Kuridrani, Tom Wright, Toni Pulu, Christian Lealiifano, Joe Powell, Lachlan McCaffrey, Tom Cusack, Pete Samu, Sam Carter, Rory Arnold, Allan Alaalatoa, Folau Fainga’a, Scott Sio. Res: Josh Mann-Rea, James Slipper, Leslie Leuluaialii-Makin, Darcy Swain, Jahrome Brown, Matt Lucas, Irae Simone, Andy Muirhead.
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