Waratahs winger Cam Clark is hoping for a better start to 2018, after an injury-interrupted return to XVs.
Clark had a delayed start to 2017 with an ankle problem, missing the entire preseason and making his Waratahs debut against the Sharks in round three.
Though he showed promise in the back three, his season finished as it began, with a shoulder reconstruction putting him in the rehab group in the off-season.
He was on hand as the Waratahs announced their 2018 preseason fixtures, dates he is desperate to be available for, particularly a February 15 outing at Brookvale Oval.
“Unfortunately I missed out last year so hopefully get the opportunity this year to chuck the boots on and play here in front of a local northern beaches crowd,” he said.
“I had a shoulder reco at the end of our Shute Shield season (for Norths), so it's all going pretty well and on track and hopefully I'll be ready and raring to go come trial time.”
Though last month’s announcement of a $2 billion Allianz Stadium development has been controversial, the proposed renovations could spell more suburban matches for the Waratahs in 2019, and it’s something Clark would welcome.
“We're a NSW team, so any field we get the chance to play in NSW, it's our home ground and we're excited to play wherever,” he said.
“(For the) 2018 season still Allianz is our home stadium so we can't wait to get going again in the next Super Rugby season.
“We've had a lot of changes, changes we needed to make within the group after our performance last year so definitely heading in the right direction.
“Preseason started this week so all the boys were in and raring to go and really excited about what lies ahead.”
The Waratahs open their 2018 Super Rugby season on Saturday February 24, against the Stormers at Allianz Stadium, kicking off at 7:45pm AEDT.