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Wells motivated to achieve Wallabies dream after ‘unfulfilling’ camp

Thu, 09/12/2021, 2:34 am
Nathan Williamson
by Nathan Williamson
Super Rugby Pacific will be full of action, featuring the best of the Southern Hemisphere

Melbourne Rebels back-rower Michael Wells admits he was left 'unfulfilled' after his long-awaited call-up to the Wallabies squad as he hunts for his first cap.

Wells was included for the French series after a dominant season for the Rebels in 2021, receiving the Weary Dunlop award for his leadership and efforts on and off the field.

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Unfortunately for the 28-year-old, he would fail to crack the side, left out of the Bledisloe and Rugby Championship squads.

This has left Wells hungrier than ever to achieve the dream and vindicate those that have helped him along the journey.

“To be honest, the camp was quite unfulfilling in the sense that you’re there working and training hard but the ultimate goal is to get a cap, play a game and I feel short of that,” Wells told Rugby.com.au.

“The thing I take from that is I’ve got to work harder, I’ve got to do more. It’s nice to get the recognition and be a part of the squad but at the end of the day, not pulling on that jersey, reaching that pinnacle of what Australian rugby is, you’ve still got work to do so you can’t rest on the fact you got some acknowledgement.

“For me personally, I’m motivated internally to pull on that jersey and get capped as a Wallaby.   

“There’s so much that goes towards it, so many people involved that help out along the journey so to vindicate all that work, the sacrifices you make, the job’s not done until you pull on that jersey.” 

Wells knows a strong Super Rugby Pacific season for the Rebels will have him back on the selector's radar as they look to solidify their back-row ahead of the 2023 World Cup.

“I think it works twofold; there’s that internal drive you have to be better but it’s also the fact when things don’t go for you, you have a bigger role to play,” he believes.

“As a leader coming back to the Rebels, I have to work twice as hard in the same of fulfilling my job to be better as an individual but also provide more to a team.

“I can’t go within myself and worry about my own goals. I have to focus on the team goals because ultimately it’s a team sport so the team that does the best, those players will go represented the most at the higher levels and get the best chance to shine.

“I have to hone my own craft but also give more to the team.”

To do so, Wells admits the Rebels and the rest of the Australian sides needs to shift the narrative of Kiwi sides being 'the big brother' after their dominance in Trans-Tasman.

The first 13 games of the five-round competition were won by New Zealand teams, victorious in 23 out of the 25.


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Wells believes in order to change the narrative, they need to be more willing to 'pull the trigger' in attack.

“A lot of the rhetoric around Australian rugby is quite negative, it’s like you are playing your big brother in the sense that New Zealand’s been successful and everyone expects the Kiwi teams to win so I feel like we give that too much respect early on,” he added.

“There are times with the Kiwi teams pull the trigger from everywhere, they can play from anywhere and whether we’re a bit gun shy or whether we’re not willing to pull the trigger at the same extent is something we’ve been looking and working on particularly at the Rebels.

“Yes we have rules, yes we have structures but when the time comes to pull the trigger we’re rugby players at the end of the day not robots, we have to play what’s in front of us,

“If an opportunity presents itself, we’re not going to critique them if they do so, we’re just going to make sure everyone has the tools to pull the trigger effectively.”

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