Rathbone comeback on track

2013-01-29 12:22

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.


  • gary.doyle.520 - 2013-01-29 12:52

    I think the Brumbies probably have better younger options but good luck to Clyde. Its not going to be easy but Jake and him have a good history so maybe it pays off for all of them.

  • eugene.brink.9 - 2013-01-29 12:53

    This guy was good 10 years ago, but now? Dunno if this is something to be excited about

  • rory.beckett.96 - 2013-01-29 12:58

    Don't feel much sympathy for him, had a fat lot to say about south Africa. The Australians kicked him to the curb when he needed their support.

      jacowium - 2013-01-30 11:43

      "The Australians kicked him to the curb when he needed their support." Care to back that up with verifiable facts? Or did you just see an opportunity to hit out at Australia? The article itself states: "...and he was eager to repay the faith shown in him by the ACT Brumbies." I agree though that Clyde himself lost a lot of sympathy here with his comments about SA and our anthem.

  • trev2 - 2013-01-29 14:33

    Pity that he was hailed as a superstar before he was mature enough to handle it. His whole world revolved around rugby. Not surprising that he had depression problems from injuries forcing him into retirement. We must be careful with talented youngsters and make sure they are psychologically equipped to handle star status. Good luck to him, hopefully he can still play some good rugby.

  • - 2013-01-29 15:36

    Jake has done this with Os du Randt, Percy Montgomary, Butch James, Ashwin Willemse and to a certain extend Eddie Jones (giving him another crack at international rugby) and today they all wear a Rugby World Cup Medal... Jake is not only a coach but a true mentor!!!

      eugene.brink.9 - 2013-01-30 08:28

      @ Colin: Ashwin, Percy and Butch were all younger than Clyde is now when they made their comebacks with Jake. Os is a forward (which changes the dynamics a little bit). Also, Ashwin never really made a real comeback. Although he was included in the 2007 squad he didn't play. He retired the year after that after struggling to regain his 2003 form. Jake also tried bringing back Andre Snyman and various other players, but let them go after a game or two. That said, the Brumbies are good enough to win this nthing without Clyde.

      faan.roetz - 2013-01-30 12:12

      He needs to come back to stabilise the very young side, not be a game changer. He offers lots of life experience and rugby knowledge. Jake knows how to apply him in a plan and to make a success of it if Clyde copes physically. He could not cope in the past.

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