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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FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Sat, 29 July 2017
Crusaders v Chiefs 07h35 Christchurch
Golden Lions v Griquas 10h00 Johannesburg
Lions v Hurricanes 12h30 Ellis Park
Sharks v Pumas 15h00 Durban
Sun, 30 July 2017
Free State Cheetahs v Western Province 12h30 Bloemfontein
RESULT SCORE
Sun, 23 July 2017
Pumas v Golden Lions 43 | 36
Sat, 22 July 2017
Griquas v Blue Bulls 45 | 51
Stormers v Chiefs 11 | 17
Lions v Sharks 23 | 21
Crusaders v Highlanders 17 | 0
Fri, 21 July 2017
Free State Cheetahs v Sharks 47 | 12
Brumbies v Hurricanes 16 | 35
Sat, 15 July 2017
Sharks v Lions 10 | 27
Bulls v Stormers 33 | 41
Force v Waratahs 40 | 11
Hurricanes v Crusaders 31 | 22
Chiefs v Brumbies 28 | 10
Sunwolves v Blues 43 | 21
Fri, 14 July 2017
Kings v Cheetahs 20 | 21
Rebels v Jaguares 29 | 32
SUPER RUGBY
MORE LOGS
Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Brumbies 15 6 0 9 34
Force 15 6 0 9 26
Reds 15 4 0 11 21
Waratahs 15 4 0 11 19
Rebels 15 1 1 13 9
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Crusaders 15 14 0 1 63
Hurricanes 15 12 0 3 58
Chiefs 15 12 1 2 57
Highlanders 15 11 0 4 51
Blues 15 7 1 7 37
Pool SA1
Team P W D L Pts
Stormers 15 10 0 5 43
Cheetahs 15 4 0 11 21
Bulls 15 4 0 11 20
Sunwolves 15 2 0 13 12
Pool SA2
Team P W D L Pts
Lions 15 14 0 1 65
Sharks 15 9 1 5 42
Jaguares 15 7 0 8 33
Kings 15 6 0 9 28