Wallabies and Brumbies invest in Banks for the long run

Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman in Japan

What started out as an interstate leap of faith has become a long-term home for Tom Banks with the Brumbies announcing a new three-year extension for their rising star.

Banks first joined the Brumbies ahead of the 2017 season, with no guarantees he would be there for more than that year after moving down from Brisbane.

Since then, though, he has become one of their most exciting prospects and his Super Rugby form propelled him into a Wallabies debut last year.

Banks was quick to repay the Brumbies’ faith in him as he signed a new contract after effectively “starting from scratch” in Canberra.

“I think everyone that goes to the Brumbies goes down there with a sort of chip on their shoulder and I think I was the same,” he said.

“You go down there, you work hard and you get your opportunity there.

“I think that's the biggest thing for me is going down there and just starting from scratch again and working hard and everyone's in the same boat and I think you really build off that.”

Tom Banks has been in super form. Photo: Getty ImageBanks follows a host of his national teammates in inking a deal that stretches well beyond the 2019 Rugby World Cup amid a lean time for the Wallabies.

Wallabies skipper Michael Hooper (2023), prop Allan Alaalatoa (2023) and fullback Israel Folau (2022) have all signed on in the past year, making long-term deals more the norm than the anomaly.

Banks said it was his optimism about the future of Australian rugby kept him from looking elsewhere.

“I think although it has been a tough year, we like where the team's heading and we like the players that are coming through and I think that's the biggest thing,” he said.

“If we can, we're close and I think it's hard to see from the results this year but we're close and I think if we can put it together, the team knows what we can do and what we can achieve and I think that's why people are excited at the thought of what we can achieve which is i think why a lot of people are sticking around.”

The 24-year-old played three Tests in 2018 and though he had limited opportunities on tour, his own 2018 season is proof that form could lead you anywhere.

Banks’s Super Rugby performances this season were irresistible when it came to picking Wallabies squads, earning him inclusions in squads throughout the Test year.

“I probably didn't really feel like I was in contention last year going into the June Series but they probably showed a lot of faith in me picking me there.

“That's done a lot of good things for me.

“I think when you're playing your best footy you're confident, I think that's what I was probably doing well at the end of last season just playing with confidence and if you can bring that into your footy, I think you're doing well.”