New Waratahs halfback heeds uncle’s words
New NSW Waratahs halfback Grayson Hart has heeded wise words from his famous uncle John as he prepares to resurrect his Super Rugby career.
The nephew of former All Blacks coach John Hart, 24-year-old Grayson becomes the third overseas-born halfback to play for NSW this year.
He replaces South African Sarel Pretorius, who drops out of the 22-man squad for Saturday’s ANZ Stadium clash with the Brumbies, with Scottish-born Brendan McKibbin the reserve halfback.
Hart was part of a New Zealand under-20 team that included current All Blacks Sam Whitelock, Aaron Smith and Zac Guildford.
He headed to Australia, the birthplace of one of his grandparents, when his career in New Zealand stalled in 2010 after he made seven Super Rugby appearances for the Blues in 2009.
“I think maybe, at the time, I might not have been ready to make the most of the opportunity,” said Hart of his time with the Blues.
Injuries wiped out much of his 2011 campaign in Sydney, but he was contracted to the Waratahs’ 2012 extended playing squad as their third-choice halfback.
“There’s been times over the last couple of years where, with injuries and not being selected, I’ve been pretty frustrated,” Hart said.
“I never really thought of giving rugby away but, at times, I considered moving overseas to have a go in Europe.
“People close to me, my brother and my uncle, they are always the ones I go to for advice.
“It was their advice to stay and have a go at Super Rugby.”
Asked what his uncle thought about him playing for NSW, Hart said at the beginning of the year he said ‘you know what, you might not get your chance until the last game but, when you do, make sure you are fit and you’re ready to go for that game’.
“That’s what I’ve tried to do all year.”
Hart partners Bernard Foley, who has switched from fullback to five-eighth with incumbent Wallabies No.10 Berrick Barnes shifting from that position to inside centre.
Adam Ashley-Cooper moves from inside centre to fullback, with fellow Wallaby Lachie Turner returning from injury to replace Tom Kingston on the wing.
In changes to the pack that started the Waratahs’ last match against the Hurricanes, Dean Mumm replaces Sitaleki Timani in the second row and openside flanker Chris Alcock comes in for Jono Jenkins.
© AAP 2013
Waratahs: Adam Ashley-Cooper, Lachie Turner, Rob Horne, Berrick Barnes, Drew Mitchell, Bernard Foley, Grayson Hart, Wycliff Palu, Chris Alcock, Dave Dennis, Kane Douglas, Dean Mumm, Sekope Kepu, Tatafu Polota-Nau, Benn Robinson (capt). Res: Josh Mann-Rae, Paddy Ryan, Sitaleki Timani, Lopeti Timani, Brendan McKibbin, Tom Carter, Tom Kingston.
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