Olympic Rebel ready to scrum down

Tue, 01 Jan 2013 09:05
Large dalestevensonolympics Large dalestevensonolympics2 Large dalestevensonshotput

Australian Olympic shot putter Dale Stevenson is determined to make a successful crossover to rugby as a prop for the Melbourne Rebels.

Australian Olympic shot putter Dale Stevenson is determined to make a successful crossover to rugby as a prop for the Melbourne Rebels.

Stevenson, who made his Olympic debut at the London Olympics, failed to reach the shot put final and switched to rugby after he reportedly became disillusioned with aspects of athletics.

Four months after he tipped the scales at 138kg, Stevenson has cut down to 118kg as he readies for his shift to Rugby Union.

Stevenson, who turned 25 on Tuesday, admitted to having little experience in Rugby Union, having played just a few matches in high school, but said he is relishing what he called ''an adventure.''

''I'm enjoying the challenge. It's not easy but I didn't expect it to be,'' Stevenson told the Sydney Morning Herald.

''The big thing over the past few months was getting myself into shape so I can handle a full-time training load and get around the park.

''I fell in love with the game when I went to school in England but on my return to Melbourne in 2001 there weren't many avenues for rugby so I went down the AFL path before I found athletics.''

Despite losing some of his brute strength, his prowess in the gym still makes him arguably the strongest man in any of Australia's football codes.

''There was a 220-kilogram bench press, a 290-kilogram squat and a 185-kilogram clean [lift],'' he said. '

'While the numbers were down on what I've done in the past, I was reasonably happy they didn't fall off as far as I thought they might have.''

Stevenson will find his feet at the Rebels Academy and the Melbourne Harlequins and isn’t overly concerned about the physical nature of the game.

''That was raised when I initially spoke to the Rebels and they wanted to know if I could handle the physicality of it and not only hold my own but actually win some contests,'' he said.

''Over the past few months we've done grappling, wrestling and scrummaging and I've taken to it better than was originally forecast. I know it's different from a game situation but it is nice to know.''

Stevenson will look to draw inspiration from another former shot putter, Tom Court, who switched to rugby in 2004 and went on to represent Queensland and Ireland as a front row forward.

There are currently no matches being played
FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Fri, 23 February 2018
Highlanders v Blues 06h35 Dunedin
Rebels v Reds 08h45 Melbourne
Munster v Glasgow Warriors 19h00 Irish Independent Park
Dragons v Edinburgh 19h30 Rodney Parade
Leinster v Kings 19h35 RDS
Scarlets v Ulster 19h35 Parc y Scarlets
France v Italy 20h00 Paris
Sat, 24 February 2018
Sunwolves v Brumbies 04h15 Tokyo
Crusaders v Chiefs 06h35 Christchurch
Waratahs v Stormers 08h45 Allianz Park
Treviso v Connacht 12h00 Stadio Monigo
Bath v Sale Sharks 12h30 Recreation Ground
Lions v Jaguares 13h05 Johannesburg
Exeter Chiefs v Northampton Saints 14h00 Sandy Park
Ireland v Wales 14h15 Aviva Stadium
Gloucester v Wasps 14h30 Kingsholm
Harlequins v Newcastle Falcons 15h00 Twickenham Stoop
Bulls v Hurricanes 15h15 Loftus Versfeld
Scotland v England 16h45 BT Murrayfield
Ospreys v Cheetahs 17h30 Liberty Stadium
Sun, 25 February 2018
Zebre v Cardiff Blues 13h00 Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi
London Irish v Worcester Warriors 13h00 Madejski Stadium
Saracens v Leicester Tigers 15h30 Allianz Park
SUPER RUGBY
MORE LOGS
Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Brumbies 0 0 0 0 0
Reds 0 0 0 0 0
Waratahs 0 0 0 0 0
Sunwolves 0 0 0 0 0
Rebels 0 0 0 0 0
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Crusaders 0 0 0 0 0
Hurricanes 0 0 0 0 0
Chiefs 0 0 0 0 0
Highlanders 0 0 0 0 0
Blues 0 0 0 0 0
Pool SA
Team P W D L Pts
Stormers 1 1 0 0 4
Lions 1 1 0 0 4
Sharks 1 0 0 1 1
Bulls 0 0 0 0 0
Jaguares 1 0 0 1 0