WALLABIES superstar David Pocock is considering taking a year off from rugby to study in England for 12 months, while Queensland flanker Liam Gill is poised to join French glamour club Toulon, putting Australia’s backrow stocks in disarray.
Pocock’s shock potential break from the game in 2017 would have huge ramifications for the Wallabies and Brumbies, given he was the nation’s best player at last year’s World Cup.
The ARU is working feverishly to keep Pocock in Australia, but the final decision will rest with the 27-year-old backrower.
Renowned as much for his off-field endeavours as his on-field brilliance, Pocock is hardly an orthodox athlete and this latest news epitomises his approach to life and sport.
Pocock had two seasons completely ruined by successive knee injuries, yet came back last year to carry the Wallabies to the World Cup final and establish himself as a world-class No.8.
But despite his form and claims to the Wallabies No.8 jersey, Pocock has a desire to take a complete break from rugby once his ARU contract expires on December 31 and turn his attention to intellectual pursuits.
The Daily Telegraph can reveal that as part of ongoing negotiations with the ARU and Brumbies, Pocock has asked for a 12-month sabbatical in 2017 to study, and then return in 2018 with a view to playing at the 2019 World Cup in Japan.
The Brumbies are desperate for Pocock to stay, but will not grant him a one-year absence.
“It creates all sorts of problems if Poey takes a break,” Brumbies chief executive Michael Jones said.
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