Wallabies star returns to Brumbies training camp ahead of 10th Super Rugby campaign
Returning to Canberra after having to self-isolate for a fortnight after getting caught up in Sydney’s COVID-19 outbreak in recent weeks, Sio made it clear he was glad to be back ahead of his side’s season-opener against the Force on February 19.
“I think a lot of teams will have to deal with similar problems, so we’ve just got to adapt and adjust as best we can,” he said on Monday.
“I feel like we’ve done that, and they’ve [his teammates] have integrated us well in the last week back into training, so hopefully we can amp things up a bit this week for a lot of us that were stuck in quarantine the last few days.”
Sio brings with him an extra sense of excitement to the Brumbies set-up, because should he takes to the field at HBF Park in Perth, he will kick-off his 10th season of Super Rugby.
The 29-year-old has spent all of those years with the Brumbies since debuting in 2012, and he said plenty has changed since he embarked on his first pre-season with the reigning Super Rugby AU champions.
“They’re obviously a lot shorter nowadays,” he said.
“Back then, we were running eight-to-10 week pre-seasons, so it’s a lot better. There’s a lot of running in those eight-to-10 weeks, especially if you’re in ‘Fat Club’, you’re pretty much training everyday.
“There’s been a lot of focus on having a point of difference for each team and what area we can keep improving on as a squad.
“Trying to condense everything into a four or five-week block is the norm nowadays, and it seems to be going well for the Brumbies at the moment.”
Despite the shortened pre-season training camps, Sio maintained that players these days seem to be in better physical condition compared to when he first came through the ranks.
“Everyone seems to be getting fitter every time I rejoin the squad, but it’s good. It’s a new feeling.
“You roll in, the team changes from year to year with new challenges and new players, so more than anything I just look forward to coming back and meeting new faces and catching up with old faces.”
With Super Rugby Aotearoa due to kick-off in just over a month, the Blues have plenty to weigh up as they look to fill the void left by Beauden Barrett.https://t.co/sdPhM1eFkU
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There are nine new faces in the Brumbies squad this year for Sio to meet, including returning Wallabies halfback Nic White.
Sio been playing alongside the scrumhalf in the Wallabies set-up over the past two years, after having already played three season of international rugby between 2013 and 2015 prior to White’s defection to Europe.
It’s that international experience that Sio will call upon for the Brumbies, especially after last year’s unorthodox international season that saw the Wallabies play four consecutive tests against the All Blacks and host the entire Tri-Nations campaign.
“[It was] a lot to deal with with the challenging times we had, but it was a good opportunity to still represent our country and perform well for the Wallabies,” the 68-test prop said.
“It’s always an opportunity to try and take things from there and see if it can work for us at the Brumbies as well.”
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