David Pocock
BornDavid Pocock
(1988-04-23) 23 April 1988 (age 34)
Gweru, Zimbabwe
  • Professional Rugby Player
  • Activist
  • Philanthropist
Parent(s)Andy Pocock and Jane Pocock
RelativesSteve Pocock, Mike Pocock

David Pocock is an Australian rugby player who was born in Gweru Zimbabwe. He is former Australian captain for the Under 20s. Pocock grew up in Gweru but later left for Australia during the Land Redistribution exercise implemented by the Zimbabwean government from about 2000. His family left to settle in Brisbane, Australia in 2000. He became a professional Rugby player making his Wallabies debut against the All Blacks in Hong Kong in 2008.[1]

As a professional rugby player Pocock had his breakthrough year in 2009 when he featured in 13 of the 14 Tests played by Australia including a man of the match effort in the drawn Test against Ireland at Croke Park, as well as a maiden Test try during the 33-12 win over Wales at Cardiff.[1]

Protest and arrest in Australia

In November 2014, aged 26, Pocock took part in a coal mine protest in New South Wale, Australia, with more than 30 people at the Maules Creek mine, and was tied to a superdigger with several others. The The Australian Rugby Union has issued a formal written warning to David Pocock following his arrest. On the protest, Pocock commented that he knew some people would be very uncomfortable with breaking the law, but that he felt that "nonviolent direct action in the face of coal mines and climate change draws on a long history of civil disobedience being used to highlight injustice." In his official statement on why he took part in the protest, Pocock said that his experiences in Zimbabwe in 2010 had awakened him to the climate change effects of industrial activity such as mining. He also highlighted the negative effects of the particular mine he had protested about.[2]

Fleeing Zimbabwean Land Reform Violence

In January 2015, apparently opening up about his past, Pocock claimed that his family had fled from Zimbabwe fearing for their lives as the government implemented a land redistribution exercise that was marred by violence against white commercial farmers. Pocock said that in 2000, when he was 12-year-old, the Zimbabwean government announced it would forcibly take over white-owned farms and his family was told they had 90 days to leave. He said their family received a lot of threats of violence and that friends and neighbours of their family were killed. According to Pocock, his family left with only what they could pack.[3]

Philanthropy and other activities

Pocock has his own charity called Eightytwenty Vision, whose objective is to help farming communities in Zimbabwe become self-sufficient. He is also an active ambassador for gay and lesbian rights. He has refused to get married until Australia's archaic same-sex marriage laws are changed.


  1. 1.0 1.1 Australia / Players & Officials / David Pocock, ESPN Scrum, Retrieved:13 Jan 2015
  2. KIERAN GILL FOR MAILONLINE, David Pocock warned by Australian Rugby Union after former captain was arrested for chaining himself to machinery and a farmer during coal mine protest, Daily Mail UK, Retrieved:13 Jan 2015, Published:1 December 2014
  3. DAVID POLKINGHORNE, Former Wallabies captain David Pocock opens up about Zimbabwe violence, Stuff.co.nz - Rugby Heaven, Retrieved:13 January 2015, Published:13 January 2015