Banks ready to turn up the pace in Super Rugby AU

Super Rugby - AU
Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

Brumbies fullback Tom Banks is embracing the aim of high octane rugby as he prepares to make his return to action this weekend.

Banks missed the Brumbies' round one clash with the Rebels because of stress fractures in his foot but has been cleared to play against the Waratahs.

With more running than usual during lockdown when teams were unable to have contact training, the issue flared up and pushed back Banks' return.

"I had a few stress fractures in the outside of my foot," he said.

"I don't know how long they'd been there for but they flared up from the running I was doing during the break, then came back in training, had a few scans and they popped up.

"Obviously worked through with the rehab team, fair bit of hard work but it's all paid off."

Banks returned to full training last week and is confident he will be right for Saturday's Waratahs clash.

His return will be a big boost for the Brumbies as they look to continue their momentum through the competition.

In the wake of a fairly dour weekend of Super Rugby AU, headlined by a Super Time period with no scores, there has been much discussion about ensuring the speed of the game increases.

Asked his views, Banks said there had to be a balance but his personal preference would always be to put the foot on the accelerator.

"As a back, you always want to see it sped up," he said.

"Depending on how teams want to play things, it's up to them but as a back obviously love fast footy but obviously got to take time and build where your team's dominant.

"We've obviously got a really good set piece which we really try and focus on which is as strong point of ours."

Having watched the first two rounds of Super Rugby AU, Banks said the big shift he had seen was in the kicking.

"I think the main difference is the kicking, you've got to be wary of the 50/22s, I think that opens up a lot of space for teams to run on edges so again they're going to test us out there this week and we've got to be ready," he said.

"I think it changes things as a back three. There's a few more things you've got to be wary of and you've got to be ready for that kick in behind and ready to shut down the runs. A few things to think about."

Solomone Kata (hamstring) and Ryan Lonergan (ankle) are set to miss another week of Super Rugby AU with the Brumbies taking a cautious approach to their returns.

The Waratahs will play the Brumbies at ANZ Stadium on Saturday July 18, kicking off at 7:15pm AEST, LIVE on Foxtel, Foxtel Now and Kayo Sports. Buy a Kayo subscription here. Buy tickets here.