Wallabies flank David Pocock has received a formal warning from the Australian Rugby Union following his arrest at a coal mine protest in New South Wales.
The former Wallabies captain, who missed most of the 2014 season with a knee injury, was among seven people arrested after he chained himself to a digger at the Maules Creek mine in the Leard Forest in a bid to highlight its potential environmental impact. He has since been charged with offences including entering enclosed land without a lawful excuse.
'While we appreciate David has personal views on a range of matters, we've made it clear that we expect his priority to be ensuring he can fulfil his role as a high-performance athlete,' an ARU statement said following his arrest. 'The matter is now subject to legal proceedings and we will now let the legal process take its course.'
Pocock is due to appear in Narrabri Local Court on 14 January. He took to social media in response to the news, tweeting: 'I know some are very uncomfortable with breaking the law, but I feel 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. #leardblockade.'
Pocock is scheduled to return to action with the Brumbies during Super Rugby, and will be hoping to work his way back into the Wallabies fold, having not featured for the national side since 2012.