NSW Waratahs enforcer Lachie Swinton is remaining positive despite a frustrating start to 2021.
Swinton's impressive 2020 season saw the 24-year-old back-rower rewarded with a maiden Wallabies cap against New Zealand in November.
Despite the game ending abruptly for the Sydney Uni product, red-carded in the 35th minute, Swinton received widespread praise for his efforts during the short stint.
Missing the rest of the 2020 International season, he was expected to return for the opening Round of the 2021 Super Rugby AU.
However, the ongoing COVID outbreak caused their final trial match with the Brumbies to be canned, ruling him out of the start of the season and setting the scene for a frustrating start to the year.
Returning for their Round Two loss against the Brumbies, Swinton would be sidelined just four weeks later with a foot injury, forced to watch from the sidelines as the Waratahs languished at the bottom of Super Rugby AU.
Despite the setbacks, Swinton remained positive throughout the process, turning his focus towards helping the team through their slump.
“I’ve got a good group of lads around me, I’d like to think I’m a pretty positive person,” he told Rugby.com.au.
“I had my focus shifted from the red card to the team. I was working with the lads trying to prepare them and then the injury, I was focused on the team again and myself to get back.”
Returning from Wallabies camp, Swinton was quick to preach the importance of practicing the basics as they search for their first win of 2021.
“The camp was all about breaking down the basics, basic catch-pass skills and footwork, really stripping it back,” he added.
“We were just doing drills then and I brushed to the lads that this is real important stuff, real basic stuff that can be looked over.
“We’re trying not to overcomplicate it, keeping it real simple.
“You don’t want to come back and be a hero at the club, just try to teach what’s they’ve been teaching us at the next level.”
With the injury firmly behind him, Swinton was focused on delivering the Waratahs an unlikely finals berth, beginning with Saturday's clash with the Force.
"We addressed that earlier in our meeting. There's been a lot of ragging on us but when it's come down to the table and points, we're still in with a shot," he added.
"We're coming with that in our head for Saturday and the week after. We're dead serious about this last two weeks."
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The Western Force will return to Perth and kick off round nine of Harvey Norman Super Rugby AU, taking on the Waratahs at HBF Park, the home side will look to keep their finals hopes alive once they kick off at 7.45pm AEST, LIVE on Stan Sport and simulcast on 9Gem, click here to purchase tickets.