April 26, 2018 / 6:22 AM / 10 months ago

Rugby-Brumbies' Pocock out of Crusaders clash with calf strain

SYDNEY, April 26 (Reuters) - ACT Brumbies flanker David Pockock will miss this weekend’s Super Rugby game against the Canterbury Crusaders due to a calf strain, the team said on Thursday.

Pockock, 30, has played four successive games since returning from a knee injury but coach Dan McKellar said he had carried the problem into last week’s 25-20 loss to the Jaguares.

The Brumbies (3-5) have topped the Australian conference the last two years but are sitting nine points behind the New South Wales Waratahs this season going into Saturday’s game in Canberra against eight-times champions Canterbury.

“Medically the advice was to give him a week off leading into the bye and have him ready to go for the Rebels game,” McKellar told reporters.

“He certainly wasn’t 100 percent fit against the Jaguares but he still pushes through the pain and performs well.”

McKellar added that lock Blake Enever would play blindside flanker on Saturday, with Tom Cusack to switch to the number seven jersey.

Enever, who has two tests for the Wallabies in the second row, had been told by McKellar before the season that he would like to see him play on the side of the scrum after Scott Fardy moved to Irish side Leinster last year.

“Blake’s a good athlete and he comes in there with some injuries in the backrow so I’m really interested to see how he goes,” McKellar said.

“It certainly strengthens our lineout.”

While the Brumbies are fighting to keep their season alive, the Crusaders have won their last four matches, all against non-New Zealand opposition.

Australian sides have not beaten a New Zealand team since 2016, a streak of 35 matches.

Reporting by Greg Stutchbury in Wellington; Editing by Peter Rutherford

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