A new-look Wallabies squad won’t be bothering star backrower David Pocock.
Pocock, who seems one of the sure selections in the Wallabies squad for England to be announced on Thursday, said the competition for backrow spots had never been more fierce.
“There's always heat,” he said.
“There’s some serious talent in the backrow in Australia at the moment so it’s a great problem for Cheika and the coaches to have.”
The Wallabies will go into camp this weekend and Pocock said regular morning after meetings had helped the squad prepare.
“I think there’s always a sense of wanting to improve as a group and I think the way that Cheik has introduced the little catch ups through the year has been really beneficial,” he said.
“Playing against the Rebels on a [Friday] night in a really physical game and then turning up [Saturday] morning to hang out with them and have brekky and chat about things.
“I think it’s great and you turn up into camp and have those relationships.”
With a handful of guaranteed changes for this year’s Wallabies squad, Pocock said that time together was critical.
“Those bonds are crucial,” he said.
“You’re relying on each other so having those friendships and those bonds is really positive.”
The Brumbies have a vital game against the Sunwolves on Saturday night before Pocock can start thinking about Test duties, with the Brumbies needing a win to leapfrog the Waratahs into the Australian conference lead.
While the Brumbies were tipped preseason to be runaway leaders in the Australian conference, the competition has turned out very differently, though Pocock said he wasn’t surprised.
“I'm’ not sure what people expected,” he said.
“We always knew the Tahs were going to be really strong and they’re leading the Australian Conference at the moment and I thought based on last year the Rebels would be really strong as well.
“It’s good for Australian Rugby.”
Pocock was speaking to a group of Waverley College students, in Sydney’s east, for Dove’s Strength to Care campaign, about what strength means in and out of sport.
“Getting those conversations going is really important,” he said.
“I was... saying to them at their age there were rugby players that I idolised and in my eyes they had it all together, playing for the wallabies they had no issues.
“When you get into that position you are human and you have fears and troubles and don’t have everything together.
“For me it’s a great opportunity to talk about those things. Hopefully getting young people and other older men and women thinking about this strength to care idea.”