Wallabies great David Pocock retires from professional rugby

One of the great rugby careers is finished, after former Wallabies captain David Pocock announced his retirement on Friday.

The 32-year-old had already stepped down from Test rugby after last year’s World Cup, and has decided he will no longer compete professionally, choosing not to return to Japan to play a final season with club Panasonic Wild Knights.

Instead, the passionate conservationist will dedicate his efforts to preserve the planet amid the climate change crisis.

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David Pocock has played his last game of rugby.Source:Getty Images

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“After retiring from the Brumbies and international rugby in 2019, I have decided to hang up the boots entirely,“ Pocock said in a statement.

“It was a childhood dream to play at a Rugby World Cup and the last 15 years of professional rugby have been an amazing adventure.

“I feel incredibly lucky to have had the opportunities I‘ve had and so much support along the way.“

Pocock has set up the Rangelands Restoration Trust in his country of birth, Zimbabwe, to help regenerate land there as farmers deal with the severe consequences of climate change, including prolonged drought.

“Regenerative agriculture aims to work with nature rather than against it,” Pocock said.

“It can repair degraded land and draw carbon out of the atmosphere while producing great, healthy food and creating more habitat for wildlife in our farming areas.

Pocock with his wife Emma.Source:News Corp Australia

“The Rangelands Restoration Trust aims to build models of land management that regenerate degraded rangelands, while creating wildlife habitat and improving the prosperity of people who depend on the land for their livelihoods.”

Pocock will be remembered as one of the finest backrowers in rugby.

His ability to pilfer the ball was unrivalled, and his efforts in the 2011 World Cup quarter-final against South Africa – where he virtually won the game for Australia single-handedly – was one of the best performances in Wallabies history.

Pocock played 78 Tests for Australia, and made 112 Super Rugby appearances for the Brumbies and Western Force.

He also spent a season with the Wild Knights in 2016.

He was to have played out two more seasons with the Japanese club, but COVID-19 cancelled the previous Top League season.

David Pocock was due to return to Japan but has called time on a stellar career.Source:Getty Images

During the break before the next season resumes, Pocock decided it was the right time to call it quits and begin the next chapter of his life.

Pocock has been a strong advocate for numerous political issues, including the environment – he was once arrested for chaining himself to a coal mine – to supporting the LGBTQ community by refusing to marry partner Emma until the gay community had the same rights.

After Australia voted to legalise gay marriage in 2017, Pocock and Emma legally married.

The man nicknamed “Poey” has not ruled out a future in politics at some stage in the future, however his immediate focus appears to be making meaningful change in the fight against climate change in Zimbabwe and Australia.

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Originally published asEnd of an era as Pocock hangs up boots

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