Following his retirement from international rugby on Saturday, Australian great David Pocock has said that it has been an “honour and privilege” to play for the Wallabies.
The flanker was set to end his eleven-year Test career after the World Cup, which ended at the hands of England in the quarter-final in Oita. The 40-16 loss also saw his team-mates Will Genia and Sekope Kepu retire from Test rugby, and head coach Michael Cheika is stepping down.
In a post on Instagram, the 83-cap loose forward shared photos of his time in a Wallabies jersey with some of the players he has played alongside. He expressed the disappointment of “falling well short of our goal”, but congratulated England on the win.
The 31-year-old said that he “dreamed of playing rugby at the highest level” and that having the “opportunity to do that over the last decade and a bit has been an honour and privilege I’m very grateful for”.
The former Western Force and Brumbies forward also said that individual achievement is a myth and thanked all of those that had helped him throughout his career.
View this post on Instagram
While we're still feeling the disappointment of falling well short of our goal, and I know many supporters of the @wallabies are too, I wanted to thank everyone for their support during #RWC2019 and during my time in Australian rugby. . Congrats to England on the win – you guys were too good on Saturday night. All the best for the rest of the tournament. . As a kid growing up in lower Gweru, I dreamed of playing rugby at the highest level. To move to Australia in 2002 and then have the opportunity to do that over the last decade and a bit has been an honour and privilege I'm very grateful for. I'm met so many good people and made some great friends. . Individual achievement is a myth so there are so many people to thank. I'll never forget where I come from – thanks to my team mates and coaches while at MCS, MCC (Gweru) and the year I spent at Port Alfred High School during the nervous wait to hear if we got an Australian visa. . And thanks to everyone who has helped me so much since then. My family, friends, coaches, team mates, medical staff and many, many others. Thank you. . And to my mate, @emmaawpocock, thanks for your love and support over the last 10 years. Really excited about the next chapter and what it holds for us. . ?: @stu_walmsley, @mullanphoto and others
Pocock finished by saying that he is “really excited about the next chapter” as he is set to play for the Panasonic Wild Knights in Japan’s Top League, for whom he has played for previously.
The flanker leaves a legacy as one of Australia’s modern greats, revered for his expertise at the breakdown. While 31 may seem young to retire from Test rugby, Pocock is a walking catalogue of injuries, which include having two knee reconstructions in the space of a year.
Even his participation in the RWC was in jeopardy after missing much of the Super Rugby season and all of the Rugby Championship with a calf injury. Fortunately, he was able to play and bow out on his own terms, although it was obviously not the result he would have wished for.
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