David Pocock's tough childhood expereinces have made him a world class player

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David Pocock’s tough childhood experiences have made him a world class player
David Pocock has already made the world of rugby stand up and take note, and his display for Australia against Wales is a further example of the player's growing stature in the game.
The flanker helped Australia to a 16-25 win against Wales last weekend and scored an all-important try.
The Wallabies forward was always tipped to play international rugby, but unlike many other talented youngsters, Pocock is exceeding expectations.
The player grew up in Zimbabwe and his family moved to Australia due to troubles within the country in 2002.
Pocock used to sleep with a gun under his pillow in case his family home was ransacked during his teenage years.
"It got pretty hairy towards the end. There was a lot of stuff going on, but people went through a lot worse than what we did. A guy and his son about 15 kilometres away from us were ambushed, and then a neighbour had his house broken into, and was strangled.”
The Pocock family received a number of threats before they left for South Africa and then Australia.
The experience made Pocock grow up fast and has provided him with a hard edge that he has brought onto the rugby pitch.
Still only 22 years old, the player is considered one of the toughest competitors and many believe that his maturity is a result of his childhood.
It was while in Australia that Pocock became immersed in rugby and coaches began to take note of the talent that he possessed.
Pocock’s rise in rugby circles has been staggering
The open-side flanker made his debut for Western Force in the Super 14’s in 2006 at the age of 18.
The club was not allowed to play the forward any earlier as the Super 14 regulations will not allow a player under the age of 18 to take part in the league.
Pocock made appearances for the Australian schoolboys and Australia A the following year and excelled in the games, taking more man-of-the-match awards than anyone else.
Australia clearly wanted to hold the youngster back, but it came as no surprise when Pocock was called up to the Australia senior team to face the Barbarians in December 2008.
The Wallaby went on to captain the Australian under-20’s team at the Junior World Championship and was handed down the Western Force captaincy for their development tour of England.
Pocock managed to win the number seven jersey off the experienced George Smith in 2009. Smith is regarded as one of the best flankers in the game.
Pocock played his first Tri Nations match and started in Australia’s 2009 Autumn Internationals in the northern hemisphere.
The open-side was the stand-out player in the series and announced himself to the world for those who were not familiar with him.
His recent performances have been outstanding for a player so young and already he has become a vital player for Australia.
His ability in turning over possession at the break down is phenomenal and he was largely responsible for the Wallabies' win over South Africa in the Tri Nations and in ending their losing streak against New Zealand in their 26-24 Bledisloe Cup victory on
30 October.
Pocock’s rise in rugby has been so dramatic that opposition teams and managers have now adopted plans to limit the player's effectives in terms of his turnovers in the tackle.
The forward's ability to tackle players, his upper body strength to rip away possession, and his awareness to be in the right place at the break down has meant that Australia can counter-attack against opposition defences with a clean ball when they are
disorganised and at their most vulnerable.
The player is already tipped to be a future captain and to go down as one of the greatest ever open-side flankers.
The other northern hemisphere teams will hope that they can limit the player’s influence on games in the remaining Test matches.



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