Pocock signs contract extension that includes 1-year off

CANBERRA, Australia (AP) Wallabies backrower David Pocock has negotiated a three-year contract extension with the Australian Rugby Union that includes a year off in 2017.

The ARU on Wednesday said the 27-year-old Pocock has committed to the Canberra-based Brumbies in Super Rugby until at least 2019 in a span that incorporates a release for ''studies and personal development'' next year.

Zimbabwe-born Pocock has played 55 tests for the Wallabies and was one of the star players during Australia's run to the World Cup final in England last year.

Pocock says ''I really appreciate the willingness the ARU and Brumbies have shown in allowing me to weigh up my desire to be available for selection leading into the next World Cup against my longevity in the game and pursuing interests outside the sport.''