Peter O’Mahony Jumps To The Defence Of David Pocock Following Neil Francis Comments

“He’s an incredible rugby player.”

Ireland captain Peter O’Mahony has jumped to the defence of fellow back-rower David Pocock ahead of this weekend’s second Test with Australia, after Neil Francis labelled him a ‘cancer on the game’ in an article published earlier this week.

Francis wrote the article, published on, following Ireland’s defeat to the Wallabies, in response to Pocock’s ‘illegal turnovers’. He says he admires Pocock and his abilities, but questioned the legality of some of his work at the breakdown.

“I think David Pocock is a cancer on the game,” wrote Francis.

“Yes, I do have grudging admiration for all his abilities and it is great when you have a player like that in your side… he had six legal turnovers and three illegal turnovers, and he and his buddy Michael Hooper managed to slow the ball down more than enough to stop any rhythm that Ireland looked like they were beginning to achieve. You have to make special preparations to counter Pocock.”

Wallabies head coach Michael Cheika has already come out and blasted Francis for his comments, and now O’Mahony has defended Pocock also.

“I don’t read a huge of media stuff and I don’t read a huge amount of Neil Francis stuff but I certainly don’t think that’s the opinion we, certainly as a group, or as a nation have of David,” O’Mahony said.

“He’s an incredible rugby player – you saw the impact on the game he had last week and I certainly wouldn’t be standing by a comment like that.”