David Pocock will make his Super Rugby return this weekend, just in time for a knock out quarter-final clash.
Pocock fractured his eye socket in the Wallabies’ opening Test against England last month and the Brumbies were sweating on a final medical clearance for the influential back rower, who has been training in a modified headgear in recent weeks.
The match could be Pocock’s last for the Brumbies before a year’s sabbatical, with the 28-year-old one of a handful of Brumbies who won’t be at the club in 2017.
Pocock’s influence on field will be a major boost for the Brumbies but forward coach Dan McKellar said Pocock’s return would bring an extra sense of belief to the side.
“He's trained well the last couple of weeks, got through some contact work so we're hopeful that will all happen,” he said.
“Just for the dressing shed…the confidence he gives the players around him and everyone in the organisation (will be important).
“He certainly adds a lot to our defence with his ability at the defensive breakdown being able to turnover the football regularly, so it will be nice to have him back.”
Departing Brumbies back Matt Toomua, who could be farewelling the Brumbies if they lose on Friday night after signing a deal with English club Leicester, said Pocock would be able to grind the Highlanders to a halt.
“He's a guy that would fit into pretty much any team in the world,h e's good enough, and to have him in these big games and to hopefully slow up their ball would be good,” he said.
“In terms of the actual game and the way it will be played, they like to play that really fast footy and to have a guy like him either stealing the ball or slowing it down definitely plays into our hands.”
The Brumbies play the Highlanders at 6pm AEST Friday at GIO Stadium.