Hooper ready for Pocock battle

Date published: April 29 2015

Waratahs coach Daryl Gibson has backed openside Michael Hooper to step up against Wallaby rival David Pocock this weekend.

The flankers are battling it out for the Australian openside berth, with Pocock scoring a hat-trick last week for the Brumbies in their win over the Highlanders.

Hooper scored a try of his own, while setting up another for Adam Ashley-Cooper, and Gibson believes he offers a different skill-set to his predecessor with the Wallabies.

"You'll see David Pocock very strong on the ball, getting in and being a real pest around the breakdown, whereas Hoops is almost like a second back," he told the Sydney Morning Herald

"The try that he set up on Saturday night [Adam Ashley-Cooper's 20th minute effort against the Rebels], I think David Pocock would struggle to do that. 

"You've got to admire them for their own skill sets and admire the battle."

The Brumbies will host the Waratahs on Friday in a battle of the top two sides in the Australian conference. As it stands, the Brumbies are top of the pile, four points clear of the defending Super Rugby champions.