Hansen embraces nerves ahead of starting debut

Super Rugby - AU
Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

A Saturday sleep in, bacon and egg roll, pre-game pasta with a pinch of salt and a healthy dose of nerves.

Brumbies fullback Mack Hansen has simple plans for the lead-in to his debut Super Rugby AU start.

The 22-year-old once had a long list of superstitions but now he is less worried about that and more concerned with embracing his nervous energy.

"I'm pretty nervous but I'm nervous for pretty much every game I play," he said.

"I 'd be a bit worried if I wasn't nervous and I'm just excited to play really.

"I didn't really get much sleep last night, just keen to get out on the field."

Hansen will replace the injured Tom Banks at no. 15 and said he had leant on the first-choice fullback before Saturday's clash.

"He's talked to me about not trying to do too much and just play my natural game so that's what I'm going to go out there to do," he said.

"I'm not (going to) try to do anything too spectacular, just play my role and do whatever I can to help us get the win."

Hansen's first run-on appearance will be a baptism of fire against a Rebels side stacked with Wallabies backs and it's a challenge he is ready to embrace.

"Their backline, it's pretty much all Wallabies and some guys that would be pushing their case," he said.

"It's good to get a first hit-up against them, I'd say they're probably one of the premier backlines in the comp.

"it'll be good to see where they're at and how we've pulled up after this break."

This weekend's opening Super Rugby AU round will be the first professional Australian rugby in nearly four months.

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"It's given me a lot of time to work on the little things and it's given me an opportunity of things I've wanted to do over the years but have struggled with," he said.

"Just like kind of work on speed and everything, just when we're training and playing running a lot of ks so it's been hard to do that.

"I've been able to get my body into the shape I want and just work on little skills like high ball and things like that.

"It's kind of rounded my game a fair bit."

The Rebels face the Brumbies at GIO Stadium on Saturday July 4, kicking off at 7:15pm AEST, LIVE on Foxtel, Foxtel Now and Kayo Sports. Buy a Kayo subscription here.