Will Genia celebrates the Wallabies' win over South Africa last weekend. Picture: Getty
Will Genia celebrates the Wallabies' win over South Africa last weekend. Picture: Getty

Pocock admits his neck has to be managed in the long term

DAVID Pocock admits he may have to manage his war-torn neck for the rest of his career, as he prepares to make his Wallabies return as captain.

The flanker will step in for injured skipper Michael Hooper (hamstring) against Argentina on the Gold Coast on Saturday (kick-off 8pm) after missing last week's win over South Africa.

The injury is a result of Pocock's dominance at the breakdown, with opponents pulling and twisting at his neck in an attempt to remove him from is position over the ball.

World Rugby maintains a strong stance on issues such as high tackles, dangerous play and intentional knockdowns but no action has been taken to penalise any illegal neck-rolling that has led to Pocock's discomfort this year.

Jack Maddocks comforts an anguished David Pocock at Eden Park as the star Wallaby feels the effects of having his neck twisted.
Jack Maddocks comforts an anguished David Pocock at Eden Park as the star Wallaby feels the effects of having his neck twisted.

While confident he has proved his fitness to clash with Los Pumas, Pocock admits he will need to sit down next week and establish some long-term safeguards.

"It's something I'll have to talk to medical staff about and have a bit of a plan," he said.

"I've got through enough contact (at training this week) to give me the confidence to play and that's the focus at the moment."

Argentina boast an imposing forward pack but coach Mario Ledesma, who built his resume as the Wallabies' forwards coach for three years, won't resort to illegal tactics to stop Australia's pilfering master.

"Trying to be before him, beat him to the ruck," Ledesma said when asked how to counter Pocock.

"But everybody tries and not everyone succeeds."

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