David Pocock, Christian Lealiifano picked in Wallabies World Cup squad

A 12-second video has helped bury any doubt about David Pocock's readiness for the World Cup as Wallabies coach Michael Cheika prepares to take a chance on the star flanker.

Pocock was one of eight ACT Brumbies named in the Wallabies' World Cup squad on Friday morning despite playing just three games in the past nine months.

Christian Lealiifano will get to play at a World Cup four years after being cut at the final selection hurdle, Allan Alaalatoa and Scott Sio will follow in their fathers' footsteps and James Slipper has been given a chance to continue his revival story.

Folau Faingaa, Rory Arnold and Tevita Kuridrani round out the Brumbies contingent.

But Joe Powell, Tom Banks and Pete Samu were left with shattered dreams after Cheika left them out of the squad, although Powell and Banks are part of an extended training group.

Pocock hasn't played at all since March after being troubled by a rare calf injury, which forced him into premature Super Rugby retirement.

But he posted fitness test video on social media on Thursday showing a shredded Pocock leaping through a drill while wearing motion sensors at Elite Rehab in Canberra.

A fit Pocock is the key piece to the Wallabies' hopes of winning their first World Cup since 1999 as Cheika largely stuck with the status quo.

Christian Lealiifano, left, and David Pocock will get unexpected chances at the World Cup next month. Picture: Sitthixay Ditthavong

Christian Lealiifano, left, and David Pocock will get unexpected chances at the World Cup next month. Picture: Sitthixay Ditthavong

Cheika has also named Queensland teenager Jordan Petaia and NSW back-rower Jack Dempsey, who bolted back into the national squad ahead of Samu.

Adam Ashley-Cooper will be playing at his fourth World Cup, Nic White and Will Genia are the scrumhalves and James O'Connor has been given a chance to shine.

"We've become a really tight group and it was a very difficult process in picking only 31 players, but I know each player selected will travel to Japan with the full support of those team mates who won't board the flight," Cheika said.

"We have worked really hard at building each week and each game so far this season, and play a brand of rugby that Australia would be proud of and get every player contributing towards the outcome.

"It's also important that we select a squad that will handle the tournament play and our draw in particular at the Rugby World Cup, as well as maintain a strong competition for places in the team.

"These next few weeks are about building and adding that little extra edge as a squad and we'll be working hard to make sure we deliver on the qualities we want people to see when we run out on the field in Japan.

"We have five extra train-on members coming with us to New Caledonia and then we'll return to take on Samoa, who we have had great clashes with in the past."


Forwards: Allan Alaalatoa, Rory Arnold, Adam Coleman, Jack Dempsey, Folau Faingaa, Michael Hooper, Sekope Kepu, Tolu Latu, Isi Naisarani, David Pocock, Izack Rodda, Lukhan Salakaia-Loto, Rob Simmons, Scott Sio, James Slipper, Taniela Tupou, Jordan Uelese.

Backs: Adam Ashley-Cooper, Kurtley Beale, Bernard Foley, Will Genia, Dane Haylett-Petty, Reece Hodge, Samu Kerevi, Marika Koroibete, Tevita Kuridrani, Christian Lealiifano, James O'Connor, Jordan Petaia, Matt Toomua, Nic White.

This story Pocock, Lealiifano picked in Wallabies World Cup squad first appeared on The Canberra Times.