Super Rugby

Pocock signs deal with Wild Knights

Australia and Brumbies star David Pocock has signed a three-year deal with Japanese team the Panasonic Wild Knights.

Pocock, 28, is set to join former Wallabies coach Robbie Deans, who is in charge of the three-time defending Top League champions.

The flanker plans to take a break from rugby early next year before joining the Wild Knights in August 2017.

Pocock will return to Brumbies in March 2018 for that Super Rugby campaign and 2019, before heading back to Japan for a season.

"I'm excited about playing for a club like the Panasonic Wild Knights. They have a proud history with a great playing group," he said.

"I'm really looking forward to working with Robbie and Berrick [Barnes] again.

"When George Smith came back from Japan in 2012 he had added a few things to his game that we talked about quite a bit, so I'm keen to use the time over there to work on various aspects of my game.

"Playing with the Wild Knights will hopefully give me a chance to practice new skills and experience a different style of rugby.

"I really appreciate the opportunity the ARU [Australian Rugby Union] have offered me to stay in the Australian rugby union set up. My goal is to continue to improve and be at my best in 2019."

A veteran of 55 Tests, it is hoped the 2010 John Eales Medallist's experience in Japan will help him at the 2019 Rugby World Cup, which will be held in the Asian nation.