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Pocock the man to get Brumbies to finals
David Barbeler
15:38 AEST Fri Feb 8 2013

Captain Ben Mowen describes David Pocock as the perfect human, on and off the field.

Pocock will need to live up to that billing if the Brumbies are to go one better than 2012 and make the Super Rugby finals this year.

One of the best openside flankers in world rugby, Wallabies star Pocock spent a hard seven years at the Western Force, unable to drag them out of the bottom half of the ladder.

If he was looking for an Australian franchise on the way up he couldn't have chosen a better home than Canberra.

Under coach Jake White the Brumbies went from 13th in 2011, to a close second in the Australian conference in 2012, narrowly missing the finals.

The Brumbies are hungry to make amends for last year's final round disappointment, a 30-16 loss to the Blues that resulted in them missing the finals, and Mowen believes Pocock, a dual IRB player of the year finalist, is the man to help them do it.

"He's pretty much your perfect human in terms of preparation and all-round bloke," Mowen said.

"That huge amount of leadership he brings with him has really benefited our squad."

His skills will be especially valuable now that the Brumbies have lost gun openside flanker Michael Hooper to the Waratahs.

Both exceptional, they differ in their playing strengths, according to Mowen.

"Pocock's probably the best in the world at securing the ball at the breakdown," Mowen said.

"It's not a case of filling the role, it's more that (Pocock) takes the seven role in a different direction."

Pocock's famously humble nature also looks to be a great fit for the Brumbies.

The raw talent of the side is only matched by its modesty, as evidenced by Wallaby-in-waiting Christian Lealiifano.

When White told him he was being made vice-captain, an unassuming Lealiifano replied: "Are you sure?"

Lealiifano was arguably the form player of the Australian conference in 2012 before suffering a season-ending ankle injury in May.

But as Mowen points out, losing Lealiifano and fellow playmaker Matt Toomua halfway through last season may be a blessing in disguise.

Their injuries gave rise to players such as Zack Holmes.

"The fortunate thing that you get out of losing guys like that last year is that you add depth," Mowen said.

"The way this competition is going now, you can't just use the same 22 each week. You need to use your entire squad to get to the finals."

White is looking to pair Toomua and Lealiifano at five-eighth and inside centre.

Where that leaves incumbent Wallabies inside centre Pat McCabe remains uncertain as he returns from injury.

But it proves the Brumbies have built that depth they are talking about.

Pocock cleared to play Scotland
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