21 Jul 2016

Pocock back for Brumbies quarter-final

5:17 am on 21 July 2016

The Wallabies and ACT Brumbies loose forward David Pocock will return from six weeks on the sidelines in tomorrow's Super Rugby quarter-final against the reigning champion Highlanders.

Brumbies loosie David Pocock.

Brumbies loosie David Pocock. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Pocock was included at openside flanker in the Brumbies team for the Canberra clash, his first outing since he fractured an eye socket in the June test series against England.

A hugely influential player for province and country, Pocock's return is a major boost for a Brumbies but they have lost test lock Rory Arnold to an elbow injury.

Blake Enever comes into the second row in his place, while the pacy Robbie Coleman comes in for James Dargaville on the left wing as the Brumbies look to upset the odds and keep the Australian flag flying into the semi-finals.

The Highlanders also have co-captain Shane Christie returning at openside flanker after he recovered from an illness that sidelined him for two games.

Christie, who replaces James Lentjes, is one of two changes to Jamie Joseph's starting side for the match at Canberra Stadium.

Loose forward Liam Squire, who made a surprise debut for the All Blacks against Wales in June, has been promoted from the bench and takes over at number eight, with Luke Whitelock moving to lock.

The Highlanders head into the playoffs in ominous form after upsetting the high-flying Chiefs 25-15 in Dunedin last week.

They take on a less inspiring Brumbies side who ground out a scrappy 24-10 win over lowly Western Force to qualify for the post-season.