Brumbies flanker Chris Alcock is relishing the prospect of taking on Reds counterpart George Smith when the teams clash in Canberra on Saturday.
Smith, who is a Brumbies legend after playing for them on 142 occasions, returns to Canberra for the first time since 2013 and although the Wallaby great may be back at his former stomping ground, Alcock says he won’t be feeling the pressure.
Having made the switch from the Western Force to the Brumbies in the off-season, Alcock is keen to make the number seven role his own at the Brumbies and what better way to do it against the man who ruled the breakdown in Canberra for over a decade.
“You watch his games and he still has great involvement all the time,” Alcock told the Brumbies’ official website.
The 28-year old was full of praise for the veteran but stressed he wouldn’t be overawed when they lock horns come Saturday.
“He just adapts to whatever role they need him to play,” added Alcock.
“He’s a good ball-runner as well as being good defensively so he just adapts really well to the situation. He does change the game so I’m going to do my best and whatever happens happens.
“It’s not often that you actually find yourself head-to-head with them [opposite No.7] but we’re both going to be trying to do the same thing at the breakdown and we both have our own roles to play.”
Alcock, who himself has over 50 caps at Super Rugby level, rebuked suggestions he would feel added pressure given the history of the number seven jersey at the club.
Joining Smith as previous custodians are ex-captains and Wallaby representatives Brett Robinson and David Pocock.
“I just focus on what I need to do and the coaches will give me a goal for each game,” explained Alcock.
“I just try to work on that and I try not to think about who’s worn the jersey before. Whenever I wear the number seven jersey I want to wear it with pride and put everything out there and show that I deserve to be wearing it.”