Pocock absence not unusual for Brumbies

Super Rugby
Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

For the 30th time in 68 matches, the Brumbies will face a match without David Pocock.

Pocock will miss Friday night’s match against the Reds, after fracturing his eye socket in the first Wallabies Test against England three weeks ago, set to put him out for at least two more weeks.

A backrow without Pocock, while not ideal for the Brumbies, is not unfamiliar for the Canberra franchise and blindside flanker Scott Fardy said it was up to him and likely Pocock's replacement Jarrad Butler to pick up the slack.

“I think we probably won't have the presence that we have at defensive breakdowns that we usually have but that's up to me and probably Jarrad to do that job really well,” he said.

“So often there's times I would get to a breakdown and Dave will be there already so he's pretty quick like that he usually beats me there.

“It's an opportunity for Jarrad to step up and really own that seven jersey this week.

“He’s done that in the past and I’m looking forward to him doing it again.”

Joe Tomane could still miss another match. Photo: Getty ImagesButler has stepped in for Pocock when he was out through suspension this year and through his absence from injury in recent seasons.

Who takes up the third spot in the backrow is set to come down to a competition between Michael Wells and Ben Hyne, who has stood out for Tuggeranong in Canberra’s John I Dent Cup.

Fardy said he had confidence in whoever steps up.

‘Even Nigel (Ah Wong) has come on and played backrow at some points,” he said.

“I've got confidence in every backrower we've got in the squad and they can do a job.”

Winger Joe Tomane’s chances of lining up for the Brumbies on Friday night looked slim on Wednesday, with Nigel Ah Wong and James Dargaville reportedly running in the wing spots at training.

“He's (Tomane’s) close, he's running around, looking pretty fit,” Fardy said

“Both those guys in Dargaville and Nigel Ah Wong have done a great job so far so we're looking forward to them doing that again."