Lucas keen to stake Tahs claim

Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

Matt Lucas has seen the paths Rugby has to offer.

His older brother Ben is currently playing Top 14 for Montpellier, his younger brother Tom plays for the Aussie Sevens and Matt has dabbled in both possibilities.

But it is Super Rugby that he¹s wanted to come back to.

A year out of the competition, after missing out on a 2015 Waratahs spot, has given him greater perspective on his rugby too.

“You get a bit of a reality check (when you miss out on a spot),” he said.

“You¹ve got to really cherish what you¹ve got here and enjoy it but at the same time you¹ve got to earn every bit of it.

“I didn¹t think I did anything wrong to lose my spot but we had great halfbacks here so it was just my job to go back and do what I could to get my spot back.”

Lucas captained the Manly Marlins to a Shute Shield grand final berth last season and said returning to club Rugby may have re-ignited his passion for the game.

“I¹ve always prided myself on working hard,” he said.

“Last year was just the realisation you need to enjoy what you¹re doing and when you¹re enjoying it then you tend to play your best footy.

“I guess the year out of the professional environment I really enjoyed what I was doing and as a  result played some pretty good footy.”

Despite his omission last season. Lucas said he never lost hope of returning to the Super Rugby competition and when the chance came, he barely had to think about it.

“It was an easy decision,” he said.

“I lost my spot in the squad last year but the dream never left.

“I came down here in 2013, I loved it, I¹ve made a lot of mates, love the organisation.”

While Nick Phipps has a reasonable stronghold on the Waratahs starting scrumhalf spot, the departure of Brendan McKibbin to London Irish means that Lucas could push for more game time  this season.

Lucas said his role was partly to help create some competition among the nines, along with Jake Gordon.

“Fang's (Phipps) definitely earned his spot there and it¹s myself and Jake's job to push him and see what we can get out of it,” he said.