Eager to get back out on the field after missing the tail end of 2014, Waratahs skipper Dave Dennis admits there’s a ‘mental barrier’.
The influential back-row has overcome his third serious knee injury, with the last one keeping him out of the Waratahs final surge towards the Super Rugby title.
Dennis is expected to appear in the second half of this weekend’s final trial game against the Chiefs.
“I just want to get back and play hopefully 30, 40 minutes,” Dennis told the Sydney Morning Herald.
“There’s a bit of a mental barrier to be honest. It’s my third time around and there are some challenges there.
“Physically I feel great, but I’ve just got to get over [Friday] night, tackle a few blokes, run at a few blokes, then I’ll be right.”
Departures have been few for the Super Rugby champions but one notable absentee is Kane Douglas, the second row now with Leinster.
The ‘Tahs have plenty of options to replace the work-rate and certain aspects of play that made Douglas such a key cog last year.
“It’s put a bit of responsibility onto guys in terms of playing different roles. I think you’ll see a fair rotation there in terms of where guys are playing,” added Dennis.
“As much as Kane was a loss, we’ve got a lot of guys in that position now to cover it. And for anyone who comes in from the back row to play lock, we’ve got plenty of back-rowers.”