Tue, 29 Jan 2013 11:45
He's waited a long time and you can see he's still got it
The road back from the rugby wilderness could be coming to an end for former Wallaby flyer Clyde Rathbone.
Brumbies coach Jake White has given Rathbone a shot in the Brumbies squad to take on the Force in Darwin on Friday.
The former World Cup-winning coach, who enters his second season as coach of the Canberra-based side, will be looking for Rathbone to come through Fridays game with flying colours.
"He's waited a long time and you can see he's still got it," White told the Canberra Times.
"Just the little things he does... a big tackle, the pick up and chip down the field, it's reminiscent of what he was like. I'm chuffed for him and mentally (the opposed session on Friday) will be a massive step for him; he will be confident that he can do it," the coach added.
White said: "If he's in the mix for the Reds game he'll get more time in the last trial and all I was worried about was mentally whether he had the demons in his head. But I can see he's ready to go."
The former SA Under-21 captain, who openly shared his story about his battle with depression, is hoping that getting game-time on Friday will help him head into the season 100% ready both physically and mentally.
Rathbone explained: "The whole idea of the trials is to tick a box, it's a step in getting back to playing again and if I get some more time this week it will be another step forward."
"I wasn't worried about any lack of desire. My nerves were just about being in the right space and not being too anxious or trying too hard.The key is to get more running in my legs, but if February 16 rolls around and I'm in the selection mix I've got no hesitation putting my hand up and being ready," he added.
Rathbone's potential has never been in doubt but injury and personal issues have plagued him thoughout his career.
Recurring knee problems saw him call it quits on his career in 2009.
"There's only so much you can prove in training, you have to get out on the field and do it," Rathbone said.
With this positive attitude he will be hoping that 2013 is the year that he can string a number of consistant performances together and remain as injury-free as possible.
Under the guidance of his former Baby Bok mentor White, world rugby could see Rathbone back at his best.
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