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Pocock forced to make tough decision

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    28 May 2019     Getty Images

He has been ruled out of the remainder of the Brumbies 2019 campaign due to a recurring calf injury and will focus on recovering in time to play for Australia at the Rugby World Cup.
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Pocock, 31, was set to announce his decision on Tuesday but he told the Canberra Times, "It's time to finish in Australia, this is it."

He met with Brumbies and Wallabies medical staff last week and it was agreed he should concentrate on the World Cup and not be a distraction to the Brumbies as they look to secure a place in the Super playoffs.

"It's the tough call, but it's the right call. Often the right call is the harder one to make," he said.

The fact he wouldn't add to his 112 games for the Brumbies and Force was slowly sinking in but he was determined to add to his 77 Australia Test caps.

"The goal is to get to the World Cup, I'll be doing absolutely everything I can to get there," he said.

Injuries have been a constant companion in recent seasons for Pocock. Knee reconstructions in 2013 and 2014 meant he missed both seasons. He had neck issues last season but ultimately it was a calf muscle tear suffered at a Wallabies pre-season camp in January that restricted him to only three appearances this year. He strained the muscle again in early March.
Pocock has only been able to play in 43 of the Brumbies' last 100 games.

While he has playing commitments with the Wild Knights in Japan next season, he is hopeful that he may be able to continue playing for Australia next year.

Pocock said he was thankful for the support he had received from the Brumbies organisation in the face of the injuries he had suffered.

"I feel like I've put a lot into my rugby, I've got a huge amount out of it and I'm very grateful for the opportunities I've had.

"But there's plenty of other stuff out there to do, and it's time to start stepping into whatever that's going to be," he said.

Pocock said he was like most professional athletes dealing with the challenges of ending their career. There were a lot of unknowns but it was about seeing what opportunities were out there.

Off the field Pocock has been an activist in social change, especially on climate change and same-sex marriage.