Melbourne Rebels fullback Tom Pincus says players are raring to get the season started, with the new Super Rugby AU competition now just weeks away.
Speaking with Rebels W Co-Captain Mel Kawa on the popular ‘Convos with Kawa’ podcast, Pincus says players can’t wait to get back on the paddock after what has felt like a “second pre-season.”
“Everyone is just so excited to get back into some games - it’s been such a long break,” says Pincus.
“I don’t think people are used to going so long without playing and obviously it’s been like a second pre-season the last few weeks in which we’ve been training pretty hard.
“But the way we’ve been training has given us a real reason to be excited because we’ve been training really well and since they’ve given us that start date, it’s given us something to really aim for.”
Returning back to training in May, Pincus and his teammates have since welcomed three new members to the Rebels family – Sevens stars Jeral Skelton, Lachie Anderson and Lewis Holland.
Switching codes mid-year can be a dauting process for any player but Pincus believes the Rebel’s strong culture have helped make the trio’s move to the XV’s a smooth transition.
“They’ve settled in really well.
“They’ve all played XV’s before, but I think it’s been a while especially for Lewie in between games, but they’ve settled right in.
“It’s such a good group down here.
“Obviously I came in halfway through the season which is a bit strange coming into a team a bit later than everybody else, but it was really easy to get to know everybody.
“Everyone’s been really welcoming so it’s been great.”
Speaking on Rugby Australia’s new seven law variations introduced to speed up play this season, Pincus says that while the adjustment will be challenging for players initially, he supports any innovations that look to strengthen the game in Australia.
“I think it’s great - all really positive rule changes.
“I think the 50/22 rule is going to force teams to put more numbers in the back field and really defend the sidelines, which hopefully leads to the frontline being opened up a bit.
“As a back three player, you’re really going to have to position yourself and it’s going to be a big change but hopefully it will lead to some more attacking rugby.”
Since joining the Rebels in February, Pincus has thrived working alongside some of the world’s best backline talents, such as Matt To’omau, Reece Hodge, Marika Koroibete and Dane Haylett-Petty.
Pincus says this experience has fast-tracked his development, showing him what it takes to perform on the big stage.
“The experience between guys like Pup (Matt To’omua) and Dane, Hodgey and Marika – it’s been awesome and really good to be a part of.
“The biggest thing has been their professionalism.
“It’s always the best players who are leading; they’re the ones doing the extras, who you can base your training around.”