Pocock dreams of Zim World Cup participation

Sport

Sports Reporter

Zimbabwe born Australian Rugby captain David Pocock, believes Zimbabwe has the requisite talent at junior level to qualify for the World Cup.

The Sables played at the world cup on two occasions, when Zimbabwe was still called Rhodesia, and to date, they remain the only non-Tier 1 nation to have beaten New Zealand following their 1947 victory.

But Pocock who cut his teeth playing Rugby in Gweru, told World Rugby News that Zimbabwe has what it takes to return to the global stage if proper structures are put in place.

“I have been in touch with some of the coaches involved with Zimbabwe rugby and they are doing the same thing, trying to really get their structures in place to be able to hold the talent,” Pocock said on Monday.

“Sure you are going to lose your best overseas, but in an ideal world, they will be playing overseas and then coming back for international duties.

“What you see a lot of in the world is players going overseas at a young age and then representing another country, which for smaller teams obviously hurts a little.”

Pocock, who is regarded as the Wallabies greatest Rugby player of all-time, and Springbok’s prop, Tendayi Mtawarira are some of the highest profiled players ever to come out of Zimbabwe.

But the Australian flanker said Zimbabwe is endowed with talent, and is equipped with first-hand information that new stars continue coming out of his native country.

“They have got so much talent at a school-boy level,” he said. “Between playing rugby in Australia and a few other projects I am involved in, it hasn’t given me a lot of time to be involved there.

“But I think there is a network of Zimbabweans around the world who have played for other countries or played elsewhere and could potentially be contributing back there in terms of some coaching stuff, IP (intellectual property), really just providing some support.

“I don’t really fancy myself as a coach to be honest but I would love to see Zimbabwe at a World Cup,” Pocock said.

Despite his participation at the ongoing finals in Japan Pocock said his wish was to see Zimbabwe at the finals again.

“Man it would make me so happy to see them running out on a world stage again.”

Pocock was born in Gweru where he played schoolboy Rugby for Midlands Christian College before moving to Australia where he pursued secondary education and professional rugby.

The Wallabies star visits Zimbabwe occasionally, and he hangs around in Gweru and Beitbridge where his uncle is a renowned farmer. His uncle’s farm is one of Zimbabwe’s best exporters of oranges.