David Pocock

David Pocock to make his much-awaited return against Samoa - and take the captain's armband

Pocock, who hasn’t played since March due to an ongoing calf injury, will lead the Wallabies out on to Bankwest Stadium on Saturday in their last Test before flying to Japan ahead of the World Cup tournament.

The 31-year-old flanker is one of several experienced campaigners included in the starting 15, including Test centurions Adam Ashley-Cooper, Will Genia and Sekope Kepu.

The latter two have already confirmed they will retire from international rugby after the World Cup, while veteran hooker Tatafu Polota-Nau announced on Wednesday he will join them.

All Blacks expect Pocock to play against them this weekend

Pocock has not played a game since March after injuring his calf during the Super Rugby season, and after touring with the Wallabies all winter but working on his own, the world-class flanker has been back training with the main squad this week in Perth.

All Blacks assistant coach Ian Foster expects him to play.

"You always prepare for that sort of scenario. But we have played against those two (Pocock and Michael Hooper) when they play together, a number of times."

Wallabies changes likely but Pocock return date still a mystery

Despite not having played for six months with a calf injury, Pocock has been travelling with the Wallabies since they went into camp in June.

There have been no fixed dates about when - or if - the champion flanker will return during the Rugby Championship, but unlike other weeks in the competition, Pocock was named in the Wallabies’ squad ahead of the Bledisloe Cup clashes in Perth and Auckland.

Reports that Pocock ran at full speed two weeks ago led to speculation the backrower could play club rugby, and then make a return for the Wallabies against the All Blacks.

Pocock "doing everything" to be fit for Rugby World Cup

Pocock has played his final game for the Brumbies and has put all of his focus on September's tournament after a near three-month layoff with a calf injury.

The 31-year-old initially suffered the calf injury back in January at Wallabies camp and though he has played three games this season, he has not been able to get the muscle 100 per cent right.

Pocock said the call to focus on the World Cup took pressure off himself to try and rush back, as well as limiting the weekly questions to coach Dan McKellar about his star no. 7's return date.

Pocock "sad" to see Folau's rugby career end

Folau’s multi-million dollar contract was terminated a fortnight ago over a controversial social media post. 

Pocock has often been seen as a juxtaposition to Folau in his views, a vocal advocate of a number of issues.

He and wife Emma did not get legally wed until same-sex marriage was legalised in Australia, Pocock uses his social media accounts to raise awareness about issues including climate change.

Brumbies set to welcome Pocock back for 'Canes

Pocock suffered a concussion in the first five minutes of the Brumbies’ round one clash with the Rebels and missed last weekend’s match against the Chiefs.

The superstar flanker is expected to be fit for Friday night’s game in Wellington and Banks said the turnover machine would be a valuable addition.

“He's a world-class player,” he said.

“The thing he brings is the turnovers he can bring it just helps us as a backline to attack unstructured defences.

“That's what we try and do and he's the best at getting turnovers.”

Pocock and Folau put differences aside

Folau, a fundamentalist Christian, caused a stir earlier this year when he responded to a question on social media with the assertion that homosexuals were destined for "hell" if they did not "repent".

Pocock, meanwhile, was an outspoken advocate for equal marriage rights for same sex couples ahead of last year's Australian referendum on the matter and has in the past called out homophobic abuse on the field of play.

Pocock to miss start of Super Rugby season

The 29-year-old flanker, who missed the best part of two seasons with knee injuries in 2013 and 2014, picked up the latest problem while playing in Japan after being given the year off from Super Rugby and tests to pursue his own interests.

Pocock is likely to miss at least four rounds of the Super Rugby season, which gets underway with an all-South Africa round on February 17th.

VIDEO: Rugby Union World Cup Highlights Round Up

The Wallabies won the match 28-13 courtesy of a  stellar two-try performance from David Pocock.

In what was a far from a polished performance, the three-try win fell short of delivering a valuable bonus point in the 'Pool of Death' clash at Millennium Stadium in Cardiff.

In another game, Scotland beat Japan 45-10 in their opening game.

Australia pair Pocock & Hooper against Fiji

Pocock starts at number eight with Hooper at seven - just as they did in the win over New Zealand in August.

Toulon's Matt Giteau, who is available after the Australian Rugby Union relaxed rules over overseas-based players in April, starts at centre.

Will Genia is preferred to Nick Phipps at scrum-half and wins his 61st cap.