Brumbies lock Darcy Swain is embracing the competition within the second-row as torrential weather hit the nation's capital.
Swain and their Wallaby contingency have made their return to training ahead of Super Rugby Pacific, with their first trial against the Waratahs slated for January 29 in Bowral.
With torrential rain hitting the nation's capital on Tuesday, Swain was quickly getting up to speed with their new fast-paced gameplan.
“They’ve eased as back into it which is nice. The program’s looking a bit different to previous years,” he told the media.
“There’s more of a focus on high speed running rather than just the large base so I’ve been really enjoying it.”
Swain enters 2022 as the hunted within the Brumbies second-row, with young guns Nick Frost and Tom Hooper looking to usurp him and Caderyn Neville.
It reflects a stark contrast to four years ago when Swain was battling the likes of Wallabies Rory Arnold, Sam Carter and Blake Enever for game time.
“It’s going to be very competitive. ‘Hoops’ (Tom Hooper) is looking pretty lean and the other boys are looking big and strong so it’s going to be a challenge," he believes.
“I thought I was the guy a couple of years ago to Muz (Douglas), Rory (Arnold) and Blake (Enever) and now it’s the other way around.
“I still want to try and challenge Nev (Cadeyrn Neville) and those guys, they’re freaks in the gym as well as on the field.”
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The 24-year-old was happy to reflect on his breakout year which led to him becoming a mainstay in the Wallabies side during the French series and the Rugby Championship, however, refused to be complacent.
As he strives to get better, a small notepad full of goals keeps Swain motivated as he looks to cement his standing in the national side under Dave Rennie.
“It is nice to reflect on the year that’s gone but it’s all about trying to go one better,” Swain believes.
“I’m only happy with myself if I get better so using pre-season to get better and then this season will be another challenge on itself.
“I’ve thought on the things I’ve wrote down on a notepad at the start of the year and I’ve done a few of those but plenty still to knock off and I think there’s plenty to carry across.”