James Hanson hasn’t played a match in the Rugby World Cup so far but he feels like he has.
Hanson and fellow injury replacement Sam Carter have both been used solely in training since their call ups but the hooker said he felt he could make an important contribution.
“For us, we want to be selfless people and that shows every day in training that you’ve got guys that are either behind you or in front of you that are giving you advice because it makes the team better,” he said.
“I think there’s great respect within the team.”
For some of the younger players in the squad, this is about the long game as well as the seven-day match cycle, improving as players to better shore up a Wallabies spot long-term.
Hanson said the improvements he could glean out of every training would help him in the longer-term.
“I think in terms of my rugby career, it’s a great event to be involved in,” he said.
“It is a day by day process but also for me that’s about getting and becoming the best player I can be each day.
“That just puts me in the position whether I’m needed this week or whether I get an opportunity a few years down the track in a starting role I’m ready.”
Winger Joe Tomane could speak for hours on the benefit he has found from learning off players like Drew Mitchell and echoed Hanson’s thoughts on being a part of the Cup squad.
“Just a lot of skill based stuff like holding my depth and all that sort of stuff. I could be here for hours and we could be talking about all this stuff that I’m working on,” he said.
“I’ve gained a lot already as it is. I really am focusing on making sure the team that is selected on the weekend is well-prepared which means I’m on top of my role,” he said.
While the immediate focus is on training every day, winger Joe Tomane echoed Hanson’s thoughts, saying there is plenty to gain from simply being a part of a tournament.
“With the experience side of things, there’s a lot of guys here who will be carrying the torch into the next World Cup,” he said.
“Not only is it helping now but it’s helping the future because you’re sort of moulding the squad for future.”.
“We haven’t really spoken at all about past this weekend, we’re really just taking it one day at a time.
“The game on the weekend was a bit of a scare so we’re really just trying to cherish every moment, every day we get now and really just focus on this weekend.”