Brumbies to take cautious approach with Pocock after head knock

Super Rugby
by AAP & Staff Writer

The Brumbies will take a cautious approach with star Wallabies forward David Pocock as he recovers from a second concussion in three months.

The John Eales medallist lasted just five minutes in the Brumbies' season-opening Super Rugby loss to Melbourne Rebels on Friday night after suffering a head knock.

He is almost certain to miss the Brumbies' clash with the Chiefs at GIO Stadium on Saturday night, but his absence could extend to the round three assignment against the Hurricanes on March 1.

Pocock sat out the final Test of the Wallabies' Spring Tour in November due to neck and head troubles he experienced in the previous game against Italy.

The ace flanker was also concussed in January 2018 in his final game of Japanese rugby before he returned to the Brumbies following his year-long sabbatical.

Brumbies and Australian teammate Scott Sio said Pocock may need to be held back to protect his long-term health.

"I think it's good what world rugby are doing around head knocks, we don't know the extent of the effects it can have," the prop told reporters on Tuesday.

"I know 'Poey' would want to play and it looks to me he's not affected by any symptoms but we've just got to take the right measures there and make sure his health is the priority as well."

Rugby Australia will be looking on at Pocock's recovery with interest given he will be key to the Wallabies' World Cup campaign in Japan.

Pocock is among a number of Wallabies who will be forced to rest from Super Rugby games during the season to ensure they are in peak condition come September.

His absence will force a reshuffle of the Brumbies' back-row with Lachlan McCaffrey and Tom Cusack likely to start as flankers this weekend.

Sio started from the bench behind new recruit James Slipper against the Rebels, but the Wallabies prop said he was very pleased to have his one-time Test teammate challenging him in Canberra.

"I have created a good partnership here with Slips already that we had a couple of years ago, it is good to see him back in Super Rugby plying his trade. He is such a good player. You don't play 80-plus Tests for Australia for no reason," Sio said.

"It’s a good challenge for me to re-earn my spot in the starting team."

Sio said the Brumbies' loss had come due to a drop-off in the final third of the game.

"Just towards the back end of the game we lacked a bit of composure and execution," he said.

"After back to back wins, the loss always hurts. It was a little bit of a set-back but this competition doesn’t allow you to dwell on that, you have to move on quickly and take your learnings and your positives."

The Brumbies host the Chiefs on Saturday at 7.45pm at GIO Stadium, Canberra. LIVE on FoxSports and Radio.