Olympic Rebel ready to scrum down

Tue, 01 Jan 2013 09:05
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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.

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Fri, 27 April 2018
Hurricanes v Sunwolves 07h35 Wellington
Stormers v Rebels 13h00 Newlands
Leicester Tigers v Newcastle Falcons 18h45 Welford Road
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Reds v Lions 05h05 Suncorp Stadium
Blues v Jaguares 07h35 Eden Park
Brumbies v Crusaders 09h45 Canberra
Kings v Cheetahs 13h00 Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium
Exeter Chiefs v Sale Sharks 14h00 Sandy Park
Worcester Warriors v Harlequins 14h00 Sixways
Gloucester v Bath 14h00 Kingsholm
Connacht v Leinster 14h05 Sportsground
Dragons v Scarlets 14h05 Rodney Parade
Bulls v Highlanders 15h15 Loftus Versfeld
Treviso v Zebre 16h00 Stadio Monigo
Cardiff Blues v Ospreys 16h35 Cardiff Arms Park
Munster v Ulster 16h35 Thomond Park
Edinburgh v Glasgow Warriors 18h35 Myreside
Sun, 29 April 2018
London Irish v Saracens 14h00 Madejski Stadium
Wasps v Northampton Saints 14h00 Ricoh Arena
RESULT SCORE
Sun, 22 April 2018
Racing Metro v Munster 27 | 22
Brumbies v Jaguares 20 | 25
Sat, 21 April 2018
Ulster v Glasgow Warriors 36 | 15
Zebre v Ospreys 37 | 14
Sharks v Stormers 24 | 17
Leinster v Scarlets 38 | 16
Bulls v Rebels 28 | 10
Reds v Chiefs 12 | 36
Crusaders v Sunwolves 33 | 11
Fri, 20 April 2018
Waratahs v Lions 0 | 29
Blues v Highlanders 16 | 34
Sun, 15 April 2018
Saracens v Bath 41 | 6
London Irish v Exeter Chiefs 5 | 45
Sat, 14 April 2018
Leinster v Treviso 15 | 17
Kings v Cardiff Blues 12 | 45
SUPER RUGBY
MORE LOGS
Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Waratahs 8 5 1 2 24
Rebels 7 4 0 3 21
Brumbies 8 3 0 5 15
Reds 8 3 0 5 13
Sunwolves 8 0 0 8 2
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Crusaders 8 6 0 2 29
Hurricanes 7 6 0 1 27
Highlanders 7 5 0 2 24
Chiefs 8 6 0 2 26
Blues 7 2 0 5 12
Pool SA
Team P W D L Pts
Lions 9 6 0 3 30
Bulls 8 4 0 4 19
Sharks 9 3 1 5 18
Stormers 9 3 0 6 14
Jaguares 7 3 0 4 12