David Pocock has today announced that he has recommitted to thw Brumbies and Australian Rugby until at least the next World Cup.
The 2015 Brumbies Brett Robinson Medalist for Players’ Player will now be with the Brumbies until 2019.
Pocock will be released from Australian Rugby duties in 2017 to further his studies and personal development, before returning to Australia ahead of the 2018 Super Rugby season.
He will return to the Brumbies to add to his now 91 Super Rugby caps, joining a number of current players such as Scott Sio and Christian Lealiifano in committing to the franchise in the long-term.
At 27, Pocock said the structure of this deal would allow him to ultimately extend his rugby career.
“I’m excited to commit to Australian rugby until the end of 2019. I really appreciate the willingness the ARU and Brumbies have shown in allowing me to weigh up my desire to be available for selection leading into the next World Cup against my longevity in the game and pursuing interests outside the sport," he said.
“I believe that after 11 seasons of professional rugby, having a year away from the sport will help increase my years in the game I love.
“It will also give me the opportunity to do a bit more study and pursue interests outside of rugby.”
Brumbies head coach Stephen Larkham is very pleased that Pocock will be with the club in the lead up to the 2019 World Cup.
“David is a marquee player and one of the best in the world, if not the best in the world in his position,” Larkham said.
“We’ve seen over the past 12 months just how valuable he is to the Brumbies and Wallabies both on and off the field. He has been with the Brumbies since 2013 and has fought through the toughest parts of his career with this club.
“He’s certainly respected by all the players and certainly respected by all the coaches as well.
“We saw last year that after two years out of the game, he came back into Super Rugby and excelled at the next level (the World Cup) as well.”
“Right now David’s focus is our 2016 Super Rugby campaign.”
Brumbies chief executive Michael Jones is also happy to have one of the side’s key players recommitted to the club until at least 2019.
“David has been very honest throughout negotiations with both the Brumbies and ARU about his desire to play on until the next World Cup in 2019, and explore off-field opportunities that he is very passionate about,” Jones said.
“Having David recommit to the Brumbies along with a number of other players is great news for the future of this side."
Pocock’s manager Brian Levine said David had a strong desire to stay in Australian Rugby and that was pivotal in the process, and represented the values of Pocock and the sport.
“David has always maintained his desire to continue playing his Rugby in Australia and has a strong belief in the direction and the identity of the Wallabies program under Michael (Cheika) and he wants to be a part of that success.”
Pocock received the Brumbies’ Brett Robinson Medal for Players’ Player, Best Forward and the fan-voted Stallion of the Year Award following his standout comeback season with the Brumbies in 2015. He was also named the Brumbies 13th all-time Captain when he led the side out in round one of the 2015 season against the Queensland Reds.
Pocock, who was the standout Australian player in the 2015 Rugby World Cup, made his debut for the Wallabies in 2008, captaining the side in 2012.
The former Australian Schoolboys and U20s representative has earned 55 Test caps for the Wallabies and has been nominated for the World Rugby Player of the Year three times (2015, 2011, 2010), claiming the converted John Eales Medal in 2010 and finishing runner-up in 2015 despite limited game time due to injury.
He also earned his 50th Test cap and played a pivotal role under Cheika in the Wallabies’ first Rugby Championship win and their run to the Rugby World Cup final.