Pocock to ease into training

Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

Wallabies coach Michael Cheika is positive about the progress of David Pocock, who will be eased back into training ahead of Sunday’s semi-final.

After running on Sunday, Cheika said Pocock’s progress was coming along nicely but he wouldn’t be thrown into full training on Tuesday.

“He’s moving along really nicely as well because he's run already,” he said.

“We’re really pleased with that, that’s a good sign.

“We won’t bring him back and say , ‘come into training lad and do everything’ just progress him through.

“ I’m really positive about him playing.”

Cheika was also optimistic on the progress of Scott Sio, with scans on his right elbow returning more positively than expected on Monday, with the 24-year-old a chance of playing on Sunday.

Pocock has been prolific for Australia when fit and is leading the Rugby World Cup in turnovers despite playing just three games in the tournament.

Number seven Sean McMahon, who was named on the bench against Scotland in the team reshuffle with Pocock’s injury said his defensive impact was sorely missed against Scotland.

“We definitely needed someone over the ball probably a bit stronger especially in the defensive side of things too,” he said.

“Just to retain a bit of ball and get some back off them because Scotland did really well to get good ball running and good advantage line.

“We definitely needed a bit of ball in that area.

With the Wallabies having a concrete end date to their tournament, win or lose on Sunday, Cheika said the side was able to lay out clear plans.

“There’s a different pattern now, it’s almost like a new tournament now,” he said.

“We know we’ve got two weeks left and we’ve got to plan.

“We’re really good physically I think.

“They’ve trained hard and they’re in really good shape physically and I think that will help us as the week goes on.”

Cheika said the side’s focus would be staying squarely on their own backyard as they prepare for a more familiar foe in Argentina.

“We’re looking at ourselves, getting ourselves sorted out,” he said.

“We’re bringing some new things in, making sure every player knows what his job is on the field and we’re going to go for it."