Miller settling into the big smoke

Super Rugby
Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

Will Miller has given up a monster commute to commit full-time to Super Rugby.

Miller, whose family has a dairy farm in Berry, was driving two hours each way to play and train with  Shute Shield side Norths, but that’s a trek he’s had to give up.

He has far from turned his back on the farm life, though, still making the trip on days off and weekends where he can.

“I have been going down on my days off a bit and giving a hand here and there but my brother and my dad don't want me to say too much, I think it would easily get on their nerves a little bit if I'm just telling them what to do and not doin the work,” he laughed.

“I've been living up here for the last couple of months for preseason. I didn't want to push myself too much, being tired after big days. Decided to stay up but I do make trips up for the weekend and occasionally on a day off during the week if I'm feeling pretty fresh.

Simon Cron and Will Miller hold up the Shute Shield. Photo: Karen Watson

Though he makes it back to the farm whenever he can, Miller is living in Sydney now after signing with the Waratahs.

The flanker had a short-term loan stint with the Rebels last season but said he felt far more settled this time around.

“Even just getting around all the boys and stuff, you get to know a lot more people and the way they play a lot better,” he said.

“I was only there for six weeks at the Rebels or eight weeks so it's hard to get those combinations and know how people play around you without training with them for that period beforehand.”

The face of former Norths coach Simon Cron has been a familiar presence for Miller at the Waratahs as well.

“Before he was head coach at Norths he was there as a skills coach for a few years before and he went to Easts but I always kept in contact and he's been, done a lot with me and helped me out a lot with my game personally,” he said.

Now that he has a Super Rugby contract, Miller’s next challenge is trying to usurp the Australian captain, Michael Hooper.

Will Miller has gone straight into the Team of the Week. Photo: Getty imagesMiller’s approach to that is a simple one, and he’s willing to bide his time for an opportunity.

“I think everyone aspires to be the best and if you don't, you're probably not going to set yourself up well enough for the season,” he said.

“I'd like to take his spot but if that takes as long as it takes, I'll just have to keep working at it and see where the game goes from there.

“It's not something that is ever going to get given to someone, especially someone as good a player as he is.

“It's just something I've got to keep working at and try to get the best out of.”

Miller had his first chance to impress in Queenstown and will also be part of the Brisbane Tens squad this weekend.

Meanwhile, lock Ned Hanigan is set to be available for the last Waratahs trial, after being cleared of serious damage to his knee after coming off in Queenstown.