Darcy Swain: Transforming the Wallabies pack into 'the best set-piece in the world'

Wed, 16/06/2021, 06:00 am
Nathan Williamson
by Nathan Williamson
The Highlanders were too strong for the Brumbies in the final round of 2021.

Despite heading in for just his second camp, lock Darcy Swain has made his mission clear: help turn the Wallabies pack into a dominating force.

Swain was amongst 11 uncapped played included in Dave Rennie's 38-man squad for the three-Test series against France.

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The 23-year-old joins the camp alongside new forwards coach and club coach Dan McKellar, who has built the Brumbies into a mauling juggernaut.

With the pair heading to Sanctuary Cove for national duty, the mission is the exact same.

“Set piece for sure,” he said on Wednesday when asked about what McKellar brings. “I’ll try and drive that here and be a leader in that sense as I work with Lukhan (Salakaia-Loto), Matt Philip when he gets here and the other locks to make sure we have the best lineout, maul and set piece in the world.

“Every forward has to have a presence. If you’re a hooker, you should be able to throw, If you’re a lock, you should be able to jump and that goes for every position. At maul time, it’s all about loving the maul and having that edge about you.

“If we can all come together under Dan’s guidance, have that mindset and element of set piece, I’m sure we’ll go well.”

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Swain is the latest in the production line of Wallaby locks the Brumbies have produced since their inception.

He believes having the opportunity to learn from the likes of Rory Arnold and Sam Carter has been integral in taking his game to the next level.

“Rory (Arnold) and Carts (Sam Carter) are two guys that have really helped me,” he believes.

“You look at their game; Carter is a bit of a lineout nerd who always ran stuff at the Brumbies and in that sense of the game, I try and pick up as much as I could whilst Rory has a very physical presence and that was another thing that I’ve tried to adapt from both guys.”


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For Swain, this learning has never stopped, admitting he will often bury his head into a computer to study how they can exploit an opposition's pack.

With a wealth of experience in the tight five in camp, Swain is making sure to pick their brains as he pushes for a maiden cap.

"I love working with those older guys because you just try and be a bit of sponge,” he admits.

“Even someone like Lukhan, I know we’re a year apart but he’s someone with a lot of experience in this set-up than me.

"Similar to Sita (Timani), I just want to try and absorb as much as I can and put pressure on them.”

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