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Pocock returns from knee surgery

PERTH, Australia (AP) David Pocock's chances of playing at this year's Rugby World Cup have risen after the former Wallabies captain safely negotiated his first match since a knee reconstruction.

Pocock scored a try for the ACT Brumbies in a pre-season warmup match at Perth on Friday against Australian Super Rugby rivals the Western Force. He played 60 minutes at openside flanker in the match won 31-21 by the Force.

Pocock had just established himself as Wallabies captain in 2013 when he suffered a knee injury which ended his season and led to reconstructive surgery. He returned in 2014 but suffered a similar injury which again required surgery.

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Cooper ruled out for 10 to 12 weeks

BRISBANE, Australia (AP) Australia and Queensland Reds flyhalf Quade Cooper will be sidelined for up to three months after fracturing his collarbone during a training session.

The Reds released a statement Friday saying the 26-year-old playmaker, who was out for 16 weeks in 2014 due to a shoulder injury, will have surgery next week to repair the fracture. (MORE)

Defending champions Ireland name squad

DUBLIN (AP) Leinster loose forward Jack Conan and Connacht prop Nathan White were the only uncapped players picked in Ireland's 46-man training squad for the Six Nations on Thursday.

Conan has impressed for his region in the absence of the injured Sean O'Brien and the rested Jamie Heaslip. The New Zealand-born White was set to become Ireland's fourth-oldest debutant at 33 in the November tests, but ruptured an arm tendon in camp. He's expected to make his comeback to action on Saturday for his province in the European Challenge Cup. (MORE)

Cipriani, Easter called up by England

LONDON (AP) Veteran No. 8 Nick Easter was handed a chance to revive his England career when he was summoned for the Six Nations on Wednesday, three years after his last appearance was tarnished by a crass dressing-room remark.

The 36-year-old Easter hasn't played for his country since the tame loss to France in the 2011 Rugby World Cup quarterfinals, after which he said it was "35 grand (thousand pounds) down the toilet" - a reference to the bonus the players would have picked up for winning. (MORE)

Kepu, White join post-World Cup exodus

SYDNEY (AP) Wallabies prop Sekope Kepu and scrumhalf Nic White have confirmed they will leave Australia to join French clubs after this year's World Cup.

The 28-year-old Kepu, who has played 52 tests, has signed a three-year deal with Boredeaux-Begles, who last month signed Wallabies utility back and 100-test veteran Adam Ashley-Cooper. (MORE)

Wales call up uncapped fly-half Anscombe

CARDIFF, Wales (AP) New Zealand-born flyhalf Gareth Anscombe was picked in the 34-man Wales squad for the Six Nations on Tuesday, while prop Adam Jones was not recalled and flyhalf James Hook dropped.

Anscombe, whose mother was born in Wales, joined Cardiff Blues this season from New Zealand's Chiefs Super Rugby side, and was one of four uncapped players named by coach Warren Gatland. (MORE)

Paddy Jackson ruled out for 12 weeks

DUBLIN (AP) Flyhalf Paddy Jackson added to Ireland's injury concerns when he was ruled out of the Six Nations on Tuesday by a dislocated elbow.

Jackson was hurt playing for Ulster against Toulon on Saturday. He will need surgery, Ulster said in a statement, and will be sidelined for up to 12 weeks. (MORE)


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