Waiting in line behind the Wallabies flyhalf isn’t the easiest spot to be in, but Waratahs rookie Mack Mason is preparing to push incumbent 10 Bernard Foley in 2018
Mason has relished the chance to learn off Foley since moving down from Queensland ahead of the 2017 season but said his ultimate goal was cracking the starting side.
The 22-year-old made his Super Rugby debut last year when Foley was injured mid-season, a shock selection to steer the team against the Crusaders.
He is the clear understudy for Foley in the Waratahs group now but he’s not satisfied with just being in second place.
“It's been a great learning curve for me, got to play a couple of games and moving on to this year - 2018 - I really want to continue to push for his spot and try to take over his spot eventually, or even if it happens this year if he goes down, be ready to take it as my own," he said
“I’ll be pushing for a bench spot but I'll also be pushing to start firstly and foremost.”
Wallabies coach Michael Cheika has taken notice of the youngster as well, bringing him into Wallabies camp in Melbourne last year, and Mason hopes to be in that mix again in 2018.
“The goal for me is obviously play a lot more games for the Waratahs firstly and foremost and if I get to go into the Wallabies group on the back of that,” he said.
“(if not) through the NRC, I just want to play good football through the 2018 season for the Waratahs and the team.”
Mason said he had been focusing on improving his defence after his debut Super Rugby season, as well as working closely with attack coach Chris Malone on his kicking.
The former Australia U20s 10 may well have a chance to make his first mark on 2018 this Friday, when the Waratahs take on the Highlanders in Queenstown in their first preseason trial.
The Waratahs open their Super Rugby season on Saturday February 24, against the Stormers, kicking off at 7:45pm AEDT. Buy tickets here.