GOING DOWN: Australia’s Adam Ashley-Cooper goes over the top of England’s Mike Brown during the Test at Twickenham Stadium, and (below) Pocock during his protest at Maules Creek.
GOING DOWN: Australia’s Adam Ashley-Cooper goes over the top of England’s Mike Brown during the Test at Twickenham Stadium, and (below) Pocock during his protest at Maules Creek.

Pocock eyes return for struggling Wallabies

AS THE Wallabies ended their Spring Tour with a third straight loss, this time to England at Twickenham, one man who could have helped the cause was chained to a digger in a forest in New South Wales.

Former captain David Pocock, sidelined for most of the past two years after consecutive knee reconstructions, has joined those protesting against the development of the Maules Creek coal mine, owned by Nathan Tinkler's Whitehaven Coal.

Just days earlier, the 26-year-old had been back on the training paddock with his Brumbies teammates, joining in contact drills and saying he was confident he would be ready to play in next year's Super Rugby competition, and also the World Cup.

Pocock's return would be a huge help to the Australian team, which has suffered from a lack of grunt in the engine room on the tour.

That was again evident against England, which took the match 26-17 after a double to No.8 Ben Morgan.

England coach Stuart Lancaster said his team still had plenty to work on ahead of the Six Nations and the World Cup, but was happy with the way his forwards performed.

"We played intelligently, kicked ball at the right time, turned Australia, and used our set-piece to pressure them. The scrum was excellent, as was the maul," he said.

Wallabies coach Michael Cheika acknowledged England had dominated the set-pieces, and said he would look at new techniques and new personnel in the lead-up to the World Cup.

"We can't be that badly prepared physically that we're getting out-pushed," Cheika said.

"We're the only ones who can change it because if we keep doing the same thing we'll get the same result."

SCORE: England 26 (B Morgan 2 tries, G Ford 2 cons, 4 pens) def Australia 17 (B Foley, W Skelton tries; B Foley con, pen; Q Cooper con) at Twickenham yesterday morning.


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