Brumbies flyhalf Noah Lolesio is embracing the extra pressure as he looks the secure his spot in the Wallabies set-up for the future.
The 21-year-old had a breakout 2020 campaign, guiding the Brumbies to the Super Rugby AU title.
His meteoric rise continued when James O'Connor went down injured, picked for the Wallabies in the third Bledisloe Cup match in Sydney.
Whilst the fixture was a night to forget for Wallabies fans, Lolesio has built on this experience in 2021, embracing the added responsibility and traffic that comes with it.
“It’s pretty cool actually, first year I wasn’t known as much but coming into this season, you hear players and coaches calling out my name when I’m attacking which is pretty funny,” he told Rugby.com.au.
“It just shows that they are aware of me and have eyes on me so there’s a space somewhere else."
After a crash course introduction to Super and International Rugby, Lolesio believes that added emphasis on his preparation has transformed his game.
“I feel like I’ve probably prepared better during the week a bit better than last year since it was my first taste of Super and International footy,” he said.
“Seeing what it takes to prepare on a weekly basis, it takes a lot so I’ve probably learnt how to prep probably for games. Understanding what the opposition is going to present and where the opportunities lie so I can present myself.
“In my second year, a fair few defenders are aware of me now so just choosing my moment and not overplaying my hand.”
Returning from Wallabies camp last week, Lolesio revealed that talks with coach Dave Rennie remain positive surrounding his game as they focused on building core skills.
Along with this, recognising and understanding the culture of each player has been reinforced, something that the New Zealand-born Lolesio believes will be beneficial for the squad heading forward.
“I had a chat with Dave (Rennie) and he was really happy with my overall game, just a few tweaks here and there,” he added.
“Other than that, it was a pretty fun camp. It was good to see all the faces again, particularly after that Reds game, seeing all those boys and breaking the ice with them and after that, just straight into the Super season.
“There’s a big diversity of all our backgrounds in that Wallabies camp and it’s pretty similar to Brumbiess as well.
“The fact that we can all come together…we all love the game of Rugby and just harping on all our different backgrounds.
“I reckon that’s what brings us all together because we understand where we come from.”
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