Protect Pocock

Robbie Deans has urged the match officials in tomorrow's Rugby Championship opener to protect David Pocock. [more]

Protect Pocock

Robbie Deans has urged the match officials in tomorrow’s Rugby Championship opener to protect David Pocock.

Australia host New Zealand in Sydney as the all-new competition gets underway and one of the key battles will be that between Pocock and rival openside flanker Richie McCaw.

Deans has previously expressed concern at the officiating of the breakdown and reckons Pocock has been illegally targeted in past matches.

And he has urged referee Alain Rolland and co to keep a close eye on the area.

"It's not so much at the breakdown, it's laying after the breakdown is over," said Deans. "The ball is gone and the game is carrying on and players are being denied the ability to participate in that game.

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"That's the touch judges' responsibility because the referee is watching the game, which is somewhere else."

Deans highlighted the issue following the Wallabies' recent three-Test triumph over Wales.

And he has urged the rest of his players to pitch in if his star flanker is given some special attention from the All Blacks.

"David can't do it all by himself … he needs people around him prepared to stand up and offer solutions because he's got his head down quite often," added Deans.

"The directors in the game, guys like Will, Berrick and Kurtley at the back – we rely on them to provide those sort of initiatives." 

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