A nine-week break from Rugby has given NSW lock Dean Mumm the chance to focus on another important part of his life.
As much physical rest as the post-World Cup break gave him, Mumm said it also proved the mental refresh he needed.
“It gives you long enough to fully get away I think in terms of mentally,” he said.
“For me I had a young son so I learned how to become a father.
“That’s a fair break from rugby and it’s a good concentration away from it.
“It’s nice to come back and start to get excited, particularly with that youth element (of the squad). It’s ‘sharpen up or ship out’ so you’ve got to get started with it.”
Mumm, who returned to Waratahs training last week along with the other Wallabies representatives, said the lengthy rest had granted him the opportunity to devote more time to his newborn son, Alfie.
“I think when you get home from training you’ve got no option but to certainly switch off and move on and just enjoy time with him,” he said.
“It gives you that lovely balance in the way you go away about things.”
It has been a whirlwind few months for the 31-year-old, finishing a three-season stint at Premiership side Exeter to play a part in the back end of the Waratahs’ 2015 season before heading straight into the Wallabies set up for the World Cup.
Back in Sydney permanently, Mumm said there was a hunger among the side to go one step further than last season’s semi-final finish.
“Certainly in terms of the Waratahs and our focus here I think there’s more we can do,” he said.
“We didn’t win it last year so there’s definitely more we can do.
“We’re aiming up and building as we go so we can do some special things.”
Mumm has been used as a flanker and lock in the past for NSW but is looming as a permanent lock on his return, with Dave Dennis in the blindside spot.
Mumm will bring valuable experience and leadership to the Waratahs, having captained Exeter and the Wallabies against Uruguay in the World Cup.