Wallaby welcome in store

The Lions could be welcomed to Australia in 16 months time by one of the biggest stars in the World game. [more]

Wallaby welcome in store

The Lions could be welcomed to Australia in 16 months time by one of the biggest stars in the World game.

Western Force are first on the fixture list when Britain and Ireland’s elite arrive Down Under in 2013 and the Perth-based franchise have named David Pocock as their new skipper.

Pocock is a near certainty to start for the Wallabies in the three-Test series against the Lions but he has already spoken of his desire to represent his franchise on June 5, four days after the Lions begin their tour against the Barbarians in Hong Kong.

And the decision of new Force head coach Richard Graham to hand his star openside the captain’s armband this season means Pocock will have an even stronger case when it comes to persuading Wallaby boss Robbie Deans to let him feature for club and country in 2013.

"I think it's a huge honour to captain a side, particularly one that I've been involved with for quite a while now," said Pocock of his elevation.

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"It's a big challenge but exciting at the same time and I'm looking forward to being given the opportunity to further contribute to the team.

"I see being a leader first and foremost as leading by your actions, however I know that there is a lot more to it and that's all part of the learning experience."

Pocock takes over from veteran second row Nathan Sharpe who has been captain of the Force since their inception six years ago.

Sharpe will continue to play for the Force this season but has given his full backing to the promotion of the 23-year-old No7.

"The level of David's performances for the Western Force has been exceptional and I think that will also prove to be the case as he applies himself to the role of captain," added Sharpe.

"I've seen him grow from a talented kid who joined the club straight out of school to become a game-breaking player in both Super Rugby and for the Wallabies.

"David is a remarkable young man and a good friend and will help him in any way that I can now and into the future."

The Force begin their 2012 Super Rugby campaign with a trip to Canberra to face the Brumbies on Friday, February 24.

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