In other changes, Brett Sheehan returns at scrumhalf, ahead of Josh Holmes, and ex-Blues centre Winston Stanley earns his first call-up to face his former team.
Meanwhile, there are several of changes on the bench as hooker Ben Whittaker replaces Elvis Taione and Australian Under 20 flyhalf Kyle Goodwin returns to the wood after participating in the IRB Junior World Championship last month. Anare Koliavu joins prop Ruan Smith and lock Ollie Atkins as they look to celebrate their Super Rugby debuts.
Nathan Sharpe will captain the side in Pocock's absence.
1. Pek Cowan, 2. Nathan Charles, 3. Salesi Manu, 4. Toby Lynn, 5. Nathan Sharpe (c), 6. Richard Brown, 7. Angus Cottrell, 8. Lachlan McCaffery, 9. Brett Sheehan, 10. Ben Seymour, 11. Napolioni Nalaga, 12. Winston Stanley, 13. Will Tupou, 14. Nick Cummins, 15. Alfie Mafi.
Reserves: 16. Ben Whittaker, 17. Ruan Smith, 18. Ollie Atkins, 19. Anare Koliavu, 20. Josh Holmes, 21. Kyle Godwin, 22. Patrick Dellit.