A couple of bouts of concussion won’t deter NSW Waratahs forward Ned Hanigan from sticking his head into dark places, as he seeks a return to the Wallabies ranks.
When he started the Tahs’ opening round Super Rugby AU game against Queensland last Friday, it was the .25-year-old forward’s first game in almost nine months.
A concussion, the second of his career, which he suffered in training last January, kept him out of all six of the Tahs’ Super Rugby games before the shutdown was imposed.
“We reached out to a fair few other professionals, I got a bit of help on it because it was that bit longer sort of recovery for me,” Hanigan said.
“I went to a few different players and got their views on it that couldn’t play for an extended period of time, but they all sort of came back and said pretty similar stuff
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— RugbyPass (@RugbyPass) July 6, 2020
“Just try everything, try your neck exercise, but time was the biggest thing.
“I was right to play against the Bulls (the week after the shutdown started), then we went into Corona.”
The concussions aren’t likely to inhibit his approach or make him exercise much more caution.
“I’m a bit of an idiot like that anyway. I just throw my head at it,” Hanigan joked.
He relished returning to action in a feisty clash with old rivals Queensland
“You could just feel the hate they were giving us and the hate we were giving them,” Hanigan said.
“It was good. I loved being out there in that sort of passion.”‘
Capped 20 times for Australia across 2017-18, Hanigan missed out on a Wallabies spot in last year’s World Cup.
“Like anything, you set yourself a goal and then you’ll fall short you are going to be disappointed,” he said.
“That’s obviously the goal to get that yellow jersey back on.”
One of his last games before getting concussed was against eventual NRC champions Western Force, who the Waratahs play at the SCG on Saturday in the WA side’s first Super game since 2017.
‘They’ve got a few old heads getting around there that know their way around a scrum and then the connections with the backs we know there’s going to be lots of ball movement,” Hanigan said.
– Adrian Warren
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