Emerging Brumbies lock Darcy Swain wants to be all beef, no mud in 2019 as the vies to build on a debut Super Rugby year.
Swain, still only 21, made his Super Rugby debut in 2018 and the taste of professional rugby only whet his appetite for more in 2019.
The second rower has added some bulk to his frame in preseason but wants to continue to build up his size as he pushes for a regular spot in the side, up against experienced campaigners like new addition Murray Douglas and capped Wallabies Rory Arnold and Sam Carter.
While he’s relishing the chance to learn from his teammates, Swain said he wanted bring a point of difference that would make him stand out.
“All those guys bring their games but I want to bring my own game and a little bit of a Darcy Swain touch to it so just staying as agile as I can but I know I need to put on beef so it's something that I'm definitely working on,” he said.
“I’m 114kg now and hoping to get to 116, while staying lean, no mud, so I just need to keep ticking those boxes.”
Swain said even looking back less than two years ago, he had grown on and off the field.
“When I think about 2017 NRC just being fresh out of school, playing a season of club, I was a bit shy, I was a bit hesitant but just having the preseason under my belt, working with guys - feel like I've definitely learned my trade a bit more and it gives me a bit more confidence,” he said.
“I saw that in the second season of NRC where I felt like I did pretty well so I'm just going to transfer and keep doing that this year and hopefully push further.”
Maintaining a balance is a focus for the youngster as well, something he learned from his debut Super Rugby season.
“I really want to take more of a whole life approach rather than just a rugby (approach) - rugby does make me happy but I've learned in 2018 that there's a lot of things off the field that can make me happy too,” he said.
“I think just pushing off the field with personal things and family and mates, it'll help my on-field game.”
At the other end of the scale, Scotland native Douglas is on his third Super Rugby club after arriving in Canberra from Wellington with stints at the Rebels and Hurricanes behind him.
The 29-year-old said the Brumbies, with whom he has signed a two-year deal, felt like the right fit for him.
“I think every club I've been at kind of rewarded people with opportunity but I think you're right the Brumbies do have the history there of guys with high work rates,” he said.
“(If) they're willing to put in the hard yards and allow them to pick up the maps and game plan quickly then they won't give up the opportunity and I can only just do what I can do and try and control that and hopefully the opportunity comes.”
"I think every club I've been at kind of rewarded people with opportunity but I think you're right the Brumbies do have the history there of guys, of high work rates and they're willing to put in the hard yards and allow them to pick up the maps and game plan quickly then they won't give the opportunity and I can only just do what I can do and try and control that and hopefully the opportunity comes.
The Brumbies take on the Rebels in their first Super Rugby trial on Saturday January 26 at Viking Park, Canberra.