Former World Cup-winning Springbok coach Jake White has declared Clyde Rathbone's Super Rugby comeback on track for the ACT Brumbies and has hinted that the former Wallaby wing could be ready for the team's Super Rugby opener against the Queensland Reds.
Speaking to the Canberra Times
, White said he had complete faith in Rathbone's ability to perform.
The 31 year-old, South African-born Rathbone, who joined up with his former Baby Boks coach White at the ACT Brumbies will try to resurrect his rugby career after three years of retirement.
Rathbone struggled with depression while away from rugby after a succession of serious injuries threatened to end his rugby career, but White said that Rathbone seemed to have finally overcome the injuries that had plagued his career.
"He's waited a long time and you can see he's still got it," White said.
'"Just the little things he does … a big tackle, the pick up and chip down the field, it's reminiscent of what he was like. I'm chuffed for him and mentally (the opposed session on Friday) will be a massive step for him; he will be confident that he can do it."
"If he's in the mix for the Reds game he'll get more time in the last trial and all I was worried about was mentally whether he had the demons in his head. But I can see he's ready to go."
Rathbone said it had been a long road to get back to full fitness and wanted to make sure he was 100 percent mentally and physically ready for the challenge, and he was eager to repay the faith shown in him by the ACT Brumbies:
"The whole idea of the trials is to tick a box, it's a step in getting back to playing again and if I get some more time this week it will be another step forward," Rathbone said.
"I wasn't worried about any lack of desire. My nerves were just about being in the right space and not being too anxious or trying too hard.The key is to get more running in my legs, but if February 16 rolls around and I'm in the selection mix I've got no hesitation putting my hand up and being ready."
"There's only so much you can prove in training, you have to get out on the field and do it," Rathbone said.