Steve's a chip off the Pocock block
David Pocock may have a firm grip on the Western Force No.7 jumper but it might not be too long before he faces a challenge from very close to home - young brother Steve, who has joined the Super 14 club's academy.
The rough and tumble of playing in the backyard will certainly be cranked up when they go head-to-head on the training paddock.
"Right now it's no competition. Dave's too big and strong for me," 17-year-old Steve said. "There was a fair bit of what you might call brotherly love when we played backyard footy and I guess it will be the same when we train against each other."
When Pocock senior first appeared at the Force, players nicknamed him "Bamm Bamm" after the Flintstones man-child. At the moment "Baby Bamm Bamm" weighs in at 91kg while his older brother's playing weight is around 103kg.
Pocock senior, now 21, is 183cm tall. Like his brother, Steve was a target for the Queensland Reds, but he chose to join David, who has become one of the best flankers in the game since moving west. And he has used his older brother's rapid rise in the Wallabies as his own spur to bigger things.
"David has always been an inspiration to me. He has shown me what's possible if you work hard," he said.
"He's been a benchmark with his work ethic and he hasn't changed at all. He's still just my brother."
Steve was 10 when his family was forced from Zimbabwe after their farm was seized and, like his brother, went to Brisbane's Anglican Church School. In his last year, stress fractures in his back ruled him out of junior Queensland representative honours.
"Now the Force has offered me this opportunity so it's up to me to put the work in," he said.
And while he might covet the No.7 he'll take any number.
"There's talk I could play hooker. I played prop and hooker when I was younger but I was a bit of a chubby then. I played centre, 7 and 8, but I'll do anything it takes," he said.
The Force will unveil their 12-player academy today.