Australia’s Pocock invites ‘legend’ Attenborough to final

Australia No 8 David Pocock has invited “legend” David Attenborough to Saturday’s World Cup final against New Zealand at Twickenham.

While many of his Wallabies team-mates unwound after Sunday’s last-four victory over 
Argentina by riding Segways, Zimbabwe-born Pocock tuned into a wildlife documentary.

England 2015’s standout performer, who averages over three turnovers each match, is a climate change activist and during this World Cup he has used his Twitter account to highlight the plight of rhinos in Africa.

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Having been instrumental in Australia securing a record-equalling fourth appearance in the final, Pocock insists the occasion would be complete if Attenborough was able to attend.

“I’m a big fan of wildlife programmes, particularly those by David Attenborough. He’s a big hero of mine,” Pocock said.

“On Sunday for post-game recovery I put on a couple of Attenborough episodes and put my feet up.

“I was rewatching his Africa series. If he wants to come to the final I’m sure we could organise some tickets. He’s a legend.”

Nearly 48 hours after the final whistle Pocock still bore the marks of a heavyweight collision with Argentina, heavy bruising surrounding both eyes, his nose disfigured by a large bump and strapping covering several fingers on his right hand.

Michael Hooper gave an insight into how the wounds were inflicted and the courage required to become the sport’s greatest poacher by saying of his back-row colleague: “David puts his head in places that are pretty dangerous – and gets the ball out.”

Australia coach Michael Cheika has described his squad as a blend of “jokers, lovers, fighters” and despite his battered appearance, Pocock insists it is the second word that best describes him

“I like to consider myself more a lover than a fighter, but a bit of a knock on the nose can change that,” he said.

“I think the nose is relatively straight. It probably looks worse than it is. It was a bit sore at the time but it’s fine now. My partner Emma says as long as I don’t start snoring she’s happy.”

Ireland wing Tommy Bowe will miss this season’s RBS Six Nations Championship due to a knee injury he suffered during the World Cup quarter-final defeat against Argentina.

Bowe’s provincial team Ulster confirmed that he will be sidelined for at least six months.

Bowe, 31, has won 67 caps and scored 30 Test tries.

Leicester have announced the signing of former South Africa captain Jean de Villiers.