Pocock returns to captain Wallabies against Samoa

David Pocock (Supplied)
David Pocock (Supplied)

Sydney - Injury-hit Australian flanker David Pocock will make his long-awaited return for the Wallabies Saturday, captaining the side as they take on Samoa in Sydney in a World Cup warm-up.

The talismanic 31-year-old will be pulling on a gold jersey for the first time in almost a year, after a series of calf, neck and concussion problems.

His playing time has been severely limited in the 2018-2019 season, but Australia is anxious to see his return after a horror run.

The team has won just six of their last 17 games and slumped to sixth in the world rankings.

Saturday's match will be Australia's last before the Rugby World Cup kicks off in Japan later this month.

Pocock replaces current captain Michael Hooper, who does not feature in a matchday squad that is a blend of veterans and relative newcomers including front row forward Jordan Uelese and fullback Tom Banks.

It will be the last home game for a trio of Wallabies stars: Will Genia, Sekope Kepu and Tatafu Polota-Nau, who on Wednesday announced he would retire after the World Cup.

Teams:

Australia

15 Tom Banks, 14 Dane Haylett-Petty, 13 Adam Ashley-Cooper, 12 Matt To'omua, 11 Marika Koroibete, 10 Bernard Foley, 9 Will Genia, 8 Jack Dempsey, 7 David Pocock (captain), 6 Lukhan Salakaia-Loto, 5 Adam Coleman, 4 Rob Simmons, 3 Sekope Kepu, 2 Jordan Uelese, 1 James Slipper

Substitutes: 16 Tatafu Polota-Nau, 17 Scott Sio, 18 Taniela Tupou, 19 Luke Jones, 20 Liam Wright, 21 Rob Valetini, 22 Nick Phipps, 23 James O'Connor

Samoa

TBA

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