Enduring an army-style initiation during his six-week stint with the Australian sevens team has Michael Wells fighting fit for the NSW Waratahs’ Super Rugby finals push.
An unsung hero of the Waratahs’ late-season charge to last year’s semi-finals, Wells made his first appearance of 2019 in Saturday’s impressive 20-12 win over the defending champion Crusaders.
Wells only had 30 minutes off the bench and now the Waratahs’ 2018 best forward award winner craves more following his self-confessed “baptism of fire in sevens”.
“They chucked us on an army camp for a weekend the first week I was there and I think I lost like four or five kilos,” Wells said on Tuesday.
“There are stretcher carriers up a mountain, we did some high diving board stuff, there was a lot of trekking and running, not much sleep, not much food.
“(It was about) pretty much getting a real appreciation of how the people who serve our country live and do their day to day job. It’s tough. ”
Now back to his regular playing weight of 104kg, Wells believes he has returned to the 15-man game from his stint on the world sevens circuit a more rounded player.
“Sevens amplifies your skills,” he said.
“You’ve got the same amount of ground with half of the amount of people. Your one-on-one, tracking, defence, catch-pass – everything is amplified.
“So I’ve had more exposure there. Hopefully I can bring that back.”
Wells missed the Waratahs’ 30-29 round-two escape against the Sunwolves in Tokyo and is eager to play his role in a more polished team performance in Friday night’s return stoush in Newcastle.
“The last time against the Sunwolves I think we got a bit too loose,” said the dynamic back-rower.
“And so whilst we are a great attacking team and we thrive in unstructured stuff, we also have really good set piece and I think we’ll try and utilise that this week.”
Watch: Waratahs assistant coach Steve Tandy ahead of Sunwolves clash
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