1. You'll obviously be missed by the Waratah's, who would be your pick to take up the mantle after you leave?
This is a tough question! There are a lot of young leaders coming through the Waratahs squad. It is an exciting, fresh group and will be a clean slate to try something new that hasn’t been done before and I expect a bit of change. As being previous captain, I will always be there for the next guy in line and help out if need be.
2. What's a highlight from your time as the Waratah's Captain?
Seeing the development of the group. Before COVID hit, the overall team performance was not great but the group had significantly developed and saw a lot of change by the end of the season and have confidence of their success going forward.
3. What was your most memorable year playing in the Super Rugby competition and why? Whether it was playing for the Waratahs or Reds…
Every year has been memorable because of all the friendships and great relationships built along the way. In particular, 2011 was a great year to play for the Reds and winning the Premiership.
4. What was your best moment from your 10 years in the Wallabies squad? 100 test caps is a huge milestone.
Through the 10 years, there has been many great wins by the team in tough times, good times and breaking records. The RWC 2015 campaign in particular stands out as a great team of guys coming together and enjoying each other’s company with great performances on field and forming lasting relationships off field.
5. What has been the worst part of training?
Training is always the tough part of being an elite athlete – preseason on the whole is the worst. Training seems to get harder each year but maybe that’s because I’m getting older. Interval and MAS training is testing where you have to push your body to the highest level.
6. Are you excited for the move to the London Irish?
I am very excited about moving and playing Premiership Rugby in the UK as I’ve been watching immensely the past couple of years. It will be great to get out there and do something different, experience a different part of the world and create new friendships
7. You've mentioned how the move is a big opportunity for you, are there any big changes you expect from playing for the London Irish?
I’m excited to see what changes lay ahead. Premiership Rugby is more forward orientated which will be a challenge but I am motivated to learn something new. Whenever we have played North Hemisphere teams, the game always pans out differently to what we are used to so it will be great to learn how they play the game!
8. What's your plan for acclimatising to training in the UK winter weather? it's a big change from Australia
I have very low expectations in regards to the weather and expect it will rain a lot, it will be different lot of kit I can imagine! I am committed to getting the work done and not cut corners regardless of rain or shine. Different to fun in the sun vs being cold/wet (and still having fun?)
9. Are there any Aussie breakfast cereals or spreads that you'll miss in the UK?
I’m a big vegemite fan (Kraft, if you are listening?) and love a typical Australian café breakfast; smashed avo on toast. I am unsure if these will be readily available outside London but perhaps will adapt and soon enjoy a greasy spoon! I’m also a big coffee fan; I am hoping England cafés have improved their range!
10. What has been one of your highlights of 2020?
One positive that came out the start of COVID was the birth of my second child and having more time to help out the family. Was easier to juggle everything and be more efficient with time and great to get back home for some family time!
11. What is a fun fact about yourself?
I am extremely tidy; all my team mates take the piss out of me. I have a specific clothes folding technique where I will unfold and refold all my kit back from the laundry guy.