UPDATE: David Pocock is leaving the Western Force to play for the ACT Brumbies.
The Force tonight confirmed their captain's decision, saying it was based on the belief that the club was not in a position to attract quality players to put around him.
As reported by The Weekend West, Pocock shortly after announced his decision to sign with the Brumbies.
In a statement on his facebook page titled 'An open letter to supporters of rugby in Western Australia', Pocock sought to outline the reasons behind the decision.
"There have been times we have fallen well short of our potential and while the commitment of everyone at the club can't be faulted, for all of the attitude and best intentions - both on and away from the field, I wouldn't be honest if I didn't acknowledge that," Pocock said of his time at the Force.
"And of course that has factored into our decision to leave, but it's only one in a number of factors that have convinced (wife Emma) and I that it's time for a fresh start.
"Being based on the east coast will bring me closer to my family, who I've not seen as much of as I'd have liked, due to the combined factors of being located in Perth, and the heavy year-long rugby schedule."
Pocock also said the opportunity to play under former Springboks coach Jake White was an opportunity to challenge himself and raise his game.
The Force are currently without a coach after Heineken Cup-winning Michael Cheika turned down their offer. An offer has been put to current Waratahs coach Michael Foley but it is understood he was only likely to sign if Pocock stayed.
The Wallabies flanker also said the travel demands of WA clubs played a big part of his decision.
"Most teams have to sit on a plane for five hours a handful of times throughout a season. At the Force it is the norm, even more so for the Wallaby players, who then crisscross the country again routinely during that program," Pocock said.
"It's a big ask, and I've been doing it for seven years. That's not to say that the travel barrier is something that the club can't overcome."
A statement from the Force says they retain some hope Pocock may one day return to the west.
"In the modern rugby landscape, player movements are much more commonplace, leaving the door open for a return to their original club," the statement said.
"David will always have a special place at the Emirates Western Force and should the opportunity arise down the track for him to return, we would welcome him back with open arms."
The loss of their star player brings an end a disastrous season for the Force and leaves the club in disarray.
Pocock is walking away from the club he joined as a 17-year-old apprentice in 2005 and is leaving them without a captain or a coach, despite having 17 weeks to find a successor to Richard Graham.
It will also damage their ability to attract world-class players.
The Force had offered Pocock the best possible financial deal and worked hard to recruit players that would have suited him including Wallabies scrum-half Will Genia and centre Ben Tapuai, both who decided to stay with the Reds.
A major shake-up of the Force football department is also under way. The Force have not been able to secure a coach since Graham told them he was quitting for the Queensland Reds.
Initial talks then broke down with Foley who has a short-term "get out" clause with the Tahs but he was subsequently tabled another deal.
His job was on the line at the Tahs after a poor season but after a presentation to the club board he was assured of the second year of his contract.
If Foley turns down the Force they would have few serious options left and may have to return to their former foundation assistant coach John Mulvihill who was interviewed but failed to get the job.He took charge when John Mitchell was sidelined during the 2009 player revolt and is currently preparing Japanese club Mitsubishi Dynaboars for their new season.
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