Pocock blow to Wallabies

Robbie Deans dismissed talk of George Smith playing against the Lions. Now he won’t be as sure.

Deans amazed with his off-field approach at the World Cup in New Zealand when he allowed Quade Cooper to taunt the All Blacks and to talk a game he was never able to produce on the field.

Not once did Deans discipline Cooper for putting unnecessary pressure on the Wallabies campaign and Deans seemed to misread the situation.

He has done a similar thing with his absolute dismissal of George Smith’s claims to a Wallabies recall for the Lions series. Deans said Smith’s return was good for the Brumbies but said he was not interested in picking the 100-Test veteran and said there were plenty of good open siders ahead of Smith in the pecking order.

Deans, in March, put his faith in David Pocock, Michael Hooper and Liam Gill, when speaking about a June assignment. It was stupid talk because the fetcher role has the highest attrition rate and already Pocock looks gone for the season.

The Wallabies captain who missed most of last year because of injury left the field early against the Tahs and the early talk is that could be the end of his year.

Smith, who replaced him, was superb and looked as menacing as he did before leaving Australian rugby a couple of years ago. Smith had a season in Toulon and one in Japan.

By Mark Keohane