Nathan Charles: The boys will bounce back
Cape Town - The Rebels’ most-recent debutant from Friday,
Nathan Charles said his new club will bounce back from its recent losses, as it
prepares for a mouth-watering Australian derby clash with the Brumbies in
Canberra on Saturday.
Charles came off the bench in the Rebels’ 55-10 loss to the
Crusaders at AAMI Park last Friday, just four days after arriving in Australia
from English Premiership club, Bath.
After just two training sessions with his new teammates,
Charles replaced starting hooker, Anaru Rangi for 21 minutes last Friday. As the
Rebels look to shake a five-game losing streak, Charles said there was added
emphasis on doing the season-double on the Brumbies in the nation’s capital.
“The boys will bounce back. We’ve got the team, the players
and the depth, so if you’re not on your game, you’re not going to be on the
team - that’s the picture I get from Dave,” Charles said.
“We all know how big a challenge this weekend is going to be
against the Brumbies, but also how important it is with the conference system.
“Obviously if you win your conference, you’re going to make
the Finals. So that places a large importance on these (Australian) derby
“From the result they had against the Brumbies (earlier in
the season), I think we can go there and really turn it on again. I think the
team feels they can do that again too.
“If you’re winning these derby games, it’s essentially a
The four-Test Wallaby’s short tenure has already been
well-received by his new club, with Head Coach Dave Wessels praising the former
Western Force hooker of 83 caps and his initiative in learning new set piece
work before his first training session last on Tuesday.
Charles shrugged it off, saying it is a part of the job
“This is my job and this is what I love doing. I enjoy
getting to know new roles and new detail,” Charles said.
“Before I flew back, I did contact Joe (Forwards coach, Joe
Barakat) and a few of the guys here about lineouts and again on the Monday
before the first training session.
“I don’t want to be rocking in here on the short turnaround
and having to learn all these new calls from scratch, so if I can come in with
a base detail that will only benefit me and team and ultimately that is what it
is all about.”
With the set piece being identified as an area improvement
the Rebels following disappointing showings in South Africa against the Bulls
and Stormers, and then the Crusaders, Charles said it is an area of experience
he hopes to bring to the Rebels.
And it’s all part of his make-up as he reflected on his move
away from Super Rugby at the end of 2016.
“Set piece is a massive thing in Europe, and that’s
something that takes adjusting to and my first couple of weeks in Europe were
tough, because they do something different over there than what happens here,”
“They (European clubs) use the set piece as a weapon every
single time they can. The weather can dictate the way you play the game.
“I think I am a better player (than when I left Australia)
and I think my knowledge of the game has improved because I got it from a
“I think I’ve come back a happier player too, I really
enjoyed my time there too on and off the field, so I think all-round I’m in a