Brumbies flanker David Pocock is confident his body is ready for Super Rugby but stopped short of declaring himself a certain starter against the Rebels in the season opener.
Pocock has battled an array of ailments over the summer, having struggled with neck and shoulder issues after the Spring Tour, and then a calf strain arising from the Wallabies’ conditioning camp in January.
Mind games or otherwise, Brumbies coach Dan McKellar has been non-committal about Pocock’s availability for round one against Melbourne in Canberra on Friday night and his star flanker followed a similar line when asked about his fitness on Tuesday.
"Getting there,” Pocock said.
"I have great support here with Ben Serpell and the strength and conditioning support team so I am in good hands.
"I am getting back into the swing of things, getting the body right, getting across all the plays and meeting a bunch of new players. I think we are good to go now.”
Like many top Wallabies, Pocock didn’t play in any of the Brumbies trials.
But the no.7 said that lack of game time wouldn’t be an issue when he got back into action.
"Certainly have a bit of running in my legs and we have been doing a lot of contact. I don’t think that will be too much of an issue,” Pocock said.
Pocock was more forthright in his praise of former Wallabies teammate Quade Cooper, who is expected to line up for the Rebels at no.10 after switching from the Reds in the off-season.
Cooper and Pocock were a 10-12 combination in their schoolboy days at Churchie, in Brisbane, and the flanker said he was pleased his old mate had found a new club after being sidelined last year.
"It’s great for Australian rugby to have players like Quade Cooper in the mix and playing. People enjoy watching him play. He is certainly one of the most talented players I have played alongside and against,” he said.
Pocock also rates the Rebels, who are yet to play finals in eight Super Rugby seasons but could potentially be on the verge of a breakthrough year.
"You look at the team and they have a lot of depth, and a lot of experienced players,” Pocock said.
"I knew what it was like at the Force, when you have got a bunch of new guys trying to build a culture and they probably haven’t got the results that they’d hoped for, or feel like they deserve given the quality of players that they’ve got.