Pocock, Hooper cut from different cloths: McKellar

Super Rugby
by Sam Phillips

Brumbies coach Dan McKellar had no hesitation in slotting David Pocock straight into his starting XV but he doesn't expect a sizzling duel with Michael Hooper, highlighting the contrasting styles of the pair.

Pocock's return to Super Rugby doubles as his 100th Super Rugby cap and as if those two elements weren't enough - a tantalising showdown with Hooper awaits.

Australia's premier opensides squaring off always makes for enthralling viewing but McKellar doubts the pair will cross paths too often, given the contrast in the way the two stars play.

"They're very different players," McKellar said.

"They're both energetic but Michael is more around his attacking game, where he's a genuine threat.Pocock will square off with Michael Hooper and the Waratahs on Saturday. Photo: RUGBY.com.au/Stuart Walmsley"He's a good defender, a great leader for them.

"Poey is one of the best in the world with his on ball presence and his defence.

"Something I know he's worked a lot on in Japan is his attacking game as well.

"How often they come across each other in the game - you probably won't see that much."

Pocock was on the same page when asked about the duel that awaits upon his return to GIO Stadium.

"I've got a lost of respect for Hoops," he said.Sam Carter is suffering lingering concussion symptoms. Photo: Getty Images"We get on well off the field and you look forward to those opportunities - playing against some of the best players in the game.

"We've probably got different styles so I don't see it as a big seven vs seven thing but if you look at their team, they have a number of world class players.

"It's a big challenge for us and a good time to test ourselves."

While Pocock's return marks his return to full health, there are lingering concerns for Sam Carter - who will miss his second consecutive match due to concussion.

"We're concerned about his welfare and his health," McKellar said.

"It's something that has created a little bit of stress for him at the moment so we just want him to get back to full health as quickly as possible.

"It's just about being patient and we hope Sam is back to full fitness as quickly as possible."

The Brumbies host the Waratahs at GIO Stadium on Saturday night, kicking off at 7:45pm AEDT, broadcast LIVE on FOX SPORTS and RUGBY.com.au radio.