Waratahs fullback Jack Maddocks is hopeful that a fresh approach can help transform his season ahead of Super Rugby Trans-Tasman.
Maddocks and the Waratahs are coming off the back of a disappointing Super Rugby AU campaign, going winless throughout the season.
Their struggles were reflected in last month's Wallabies camp, with the 24-year-old a notable exclusion from the 40-man squad.
“It was a tough couple of months and we all take it pretty personally,” he told reporters on Tuesday.
“Every time we went out there pride was on the line and we’re looking to restore that with a fresh start.
“To use a golf analogy, our front nine wasn’t great but we came home strong on the back nine.”
After a two-week break where the club went back to country NSW to re-connect with the community, Maddocks has switched up his approach to the game.
Less is more for the Easts product, who is trying to restore balance in his life in order to push for Wallabies selection.
“It hurt not making that (Wallabies) squad but I think my back couple of the games of the season were stronger,” he believes. “I’ve changed up my approach when preparing for games which feels a bit fresher heading into games so want to build on that.
“Just mentally, I felt like less is more. I’d watch film over and over again and scrutinise myself and every little thing.
“I think a few things off field, I’ve started studying again, that’s taken my mind off rugby. That’s probably when I’ve played my best footy when I’m clear in my head and playing on instincts.”
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The newfound approach will be tested against one of the best in the game on Friday night when the Waratahs faces off with the Hurricanes and Jordie Barrett.
Maddocks had nothing but respect for his opposite number, embracing the challenge of going up against the All Black.
“He brings so much. He’s an unbelievable player,” Maddocks said on Barrett.
“He’s so big and strong but has got so much poise as well. He’ll play like a ten in a dinner suit and then go out there and play like a tearaway back-rower.
“He’s a special player and a really good bloke so I’m looking forward to going up against him this week.”
The Waratahs will be looking to bounce back when they host the Hurricanes at the SCG on Friday night. Click here to get your tickets.