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Ex-Wallabies back Pocock for captaincy

Australian World Cup-winners George Gregan and Simon Poidevin have endorsed flanker David Pocock as the man to lead the Wallabies in the June Test matches against Scotland and Wales.

With regular skipper James Horwill ruled out of the four Tests due to a hamstring injury suffered in the Reds' win over the Brumbies last weekend, Australia coach Robbie Deans will need to appoint a new leader ahead of the opening match against the Scots on June 5.

Poidevin, part of the World Cup-winning side in 1991, said of Western Force forward Pocock: "For me Pocock has put his hand up in a big way. He's always been spoken about in that manner. He's the type of player that will excel in that role."

Pocock and half-back Will Genia, who was vice-captain during last year's World Cup, are the two candidates for the vacant captaincy role.

Genia led the Wallabies against the United States during the World Cup, while Pocock also has some experience, having taken the reins for the clash with the Barbarians at Twickenham last November.

Former skipper Gregan, who is the most capped international player in world rugby, said Pocock has already showed strong leadership as part of the Wallaby team.

"He's someone that's very consistent, and a world-class player," Gregan said.

"He's been part of this group for a few years now and the leadership would sit well on his shoulders. You could say the same thing about Will Genia who's done a good job with the Reds. I think the leadership you see in this Wallabies team, it's evolving and that's important because good teams have a strong leadership group."

Horwill confirmed on Tuesday his injury is worse than first thought and he may be set for a lengthy stint on the sidelines, with surgery possibly required to fix the problem.

Deans will name his new skipper when he finalises his team for next week's clash with Scotland at the weekend.


From Belfast Telegraph