David Pocock shapes as a key player for the Wallabies.
David Pocock shapes as a key player for the Wallabies.

Wallabies great makes Pocock Cup call

DAVID Pocock should be a supersub for Australia's two biggest World Cup pool games so the Wallabies' investment in a settled backrow can pay off.

The big call comes from Wallabies great George Smith, who says Pocock's comeback should bubble along from the bench against Fiji and Wales in Japan.

Smith was up front as ever with his views in Sydney on Thursday when helping to launch the blanket World Cup coverage of multi-sports streaming service Kayo.

 

Stream the Rugby World Cup 2019 on KAYO SPORTS. Every match Live & On-Demand on your TV, computer, mobile or tablet. Get your 14 day free trial >

Kayo brought a touch of Japan to the launch with a super-sized origami Wallabies jersey and decorated former Wallabies Smith, Owen Finegan, Drew Mitchell and Greg Martin.

Smith's upbeat view of the Wallabies' increased confidence and unity this season came with a specialist take on the backrow to face Fiji in Sapporo on Saturday week.

Going with Michael Hooper, Lukhan Salakaia-Loto and Isi Naisarani, the backrow which started the opening four Tests of the year, makes perfect sense to Smith.

"I'd like to see that trio rewarded because the time put into a combination has them working fluently," Smith said.

David Pocock has been backed to make an impact off the bench in the early stages of the World Cup. Picture: Dan Mullan/Getty Images
David Pocock has been backed to make an impact off the bench in the early stages of the World Cup. Picture: Dan Mullan/Getty Images

"It looks like they understand their positions and roles like Lukhan running out wide on some occasions and working in tight when needed.

"To me, Lukhan has matured into a fine player with his consistent game time and I'd like to see some pick-and-stick with the backrow."

Pocock's strong hour in the tune-up Test against Samoa was his first game time in six months.

He'll play part of the Test against Fiji and be sized up for a bigger role against the zealous Welsh at the breakdown.

Smith's endorsement that the Wallabies have found a productive backrow unit is a big positive but he said selections had to be flexible over a demanding seven-week tournament.

Former Wallabies L-R Owen Finegan, George Smith, Greg Martin and Drew Mitchell getting on board the Wallabies ahead of the World Cup in Japan. Picture: Toby Zerna
Former Wallabies L-R Owen Finegan, George Smith, Greg Martin and Drew Mitchell getting on board the Wallabies ahead of the World Cup in Japan. Picture: Toby Zerna

"Of course, I can definitely see Pocock and Hooper starting together at some stage of the World Cup because they are both such outstanding individual players," Smith said.

"Right now I see Pocock on the bench adding value.

"Everyone was waiting to see Pocock against Samoa, me included, and you know his big influence is not just on the field but around the group generally."

Kayo has added game-changing features so keeping up with the World Cup is sharper than ever.

The On Demand feature means customers can catch up anywhere, anytime, on their TV or favourite device.

Lukhan Salakaia-Loto tackled by David Pocock during a Wallabies training session at Odawara Stadium in Japan. Picture: Dan Mullan/Getty Images
Lukhan Salakaia-Loto tackled by David Pocock during a Wallabies training session at Odawara Stadium in Japan. Picture: Dan Mullan/Getty Images

"Kayo Minis" offer condensed highlights packages of games while "Key Moments" pinpoint the best bits in real-time for viewers.

Fans can warm up with classic matches, documentaries and a dedicated tournament carousel now available on Kayo.

* Kayo Sports, at kayosports.com.au, will cost $25 per month to stream sports to two devices at once, or $35 for access to the service on three screens. It's currently available on Apple and Telstra TV, for Apple and Google Android smartphones, on web browsers and via Google Chromecast Ultra devices. Click here to trial it free for 14 days.

News Corp Australia


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