Wells embraces a "baptism of fire" after return to sevens

by Sarah Friend

Michael Wells says combining Super Rugby for NSW with a revived Aussie sevens career will be a welcome opportunity to test himself physically and mentally.

And Wells got his wish straight off the bat when he made his return to the Australian sevens program, by straight way joining Tim Walsh’s squad on a gruelling three-day army boot camp exercise in Brisbane two weeks ago.

“It was a bit of a baptism of fire coming into the gateway camp in Brisbane, a bit of boot camp for three days. The boys have been really good at welcoming me in, so I am pretty happy,” Wells told RUGBY.com.au.

Wells recently signed a new split contract that will see him play for the Australian sevens team in the first six tournaments of the World Series, before returning to the Waratahs for another Super Rugby season.

Those few tough days and nights in the bush was made a little easier for Wells given he was among a handful of ex-teammates, having been a member of the Aussie sevens squad in 2014-15.

Michael Wells played for the Australian sevens team in 2014-15. Photo: Getty ImagesHe moved on to the Brumbies and then NSW to pursue a Super Rugby career as a backrower but when coming off contract, Wells agreed enthusiastically to a proposed share of his time between sevens and fifteens.

“It was just something that really excited me. I have had a couple of years at the Tahs and enjoyed my time there but this was a new challenge,” Wells said. 

“I think Henry Speight is the only one in Australian rugby who has done this before, so when I was offered the opportunity I really jumped at it and straight into sevens and test my body and test myself mentally and physically.

“Just the speeds the boys operate at, they’re all pretty finely tuned athletes and I am just trying to catch up with them.”

Wells said the Waratahs were happy for him to be working hard with the sevens program, and returning fit and firing in March.

“I am scheduled back in round four or five in Super Rugby. I will be keeping tabs with Cronny, our forwards coach at the Tahs, just to make sure I am on top of structure,” he said.

“But while I am in sevens I am fully invested in sevens and while I am at the Tahs I will be fully invested with them. So it will really test me and my professionalism but that’s what I am about.”

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