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No place like home: McDermott embracing unique full circle moment as Wallabies set up on Sunshine Coast

Fri, 17/06/2022, 5:37 am
Nathan Williamson
by Nathan Williamson
Wallabies scrumhalf Tate McDermott and squad member Nick Frost have spoken to media today from the Sunshine Coast.

The last time the Wallabies played England on home soil in 2016, McDermott was just coming off working as a food attendee in a Sunshine Coast resort.

He now enters the same resort as a seasoned Wallaby and ready for the challenge ahead.

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The Wallabies set up camp in Queensland on Wednesday in familiar territory for the Reds co-captain as they prepare for a three-Test series against Eddie Jones' men, starting on July 2.

“It’s a pretty special feeling being in a place where I grew up. My family house is five minutes down the road and the resort we’re staying at I used to work as a food and beverage attendee,” he told reporters.

“It’s pretty classic seeing the GM that was here when I was here and a couple of my mates from school working as ‘dish pigs’.

“The GM has been good, apparently they had my room ready to go a day before we got here (laughs). The boys have been working behind the bar so I’m just asking for water off them at the moment.

“It’s awesome to be back here. I’ve been complaining for a while we don’t get up here enough so to have the squad up here and assembled is pretty nice.”

McDermott found himself in and out of the Wallabies' starting side before slotting in behind Nic White for the Spring Tour.

He believes added leadership at Super level and the chance to learn off the likes of White, Jake Gordon and Quade Cooper have allowed him to refine his game and take his game to another level.

“Just having that season of being captain of the Reds under my belt, obviously came with a hell of a lot of challenges but I guess mentally it prepared me on the tactical side of my game that hasn’t been there previously in years past,” he suggests.

“I like to consider myself a runner of the ball and the feedback was always I have to be better at my core skills so I spent quite a bit of time nailing them and I’m also really happy with the space I’m in with my kicking and passing.

“For me, the next challenge is around the game management side, particularly coming into Test footy. I like to think those opportunities are still there at Super level in terms of my running and the ability to see space and take it. They’ll still be there, it’s just being good enough to pick and choose my moments if I’m lucky enough to play against the English.

“I always knew it was going to be a challenge but I probably underestimated it. I think that’s all finished and I’m really happy with my chance to play footy here now and can not dwell on that and move forward.

“Having the guys around me to learn off is really good and a weight off my shoulders from my experiences at the Reds.”

McDermott is back to full training after he was stretchered off with a concussion in the quarter-final defeat to the Crusaders.

“I was actually pretty good after the game,” he added.

“Obviously I got stretched off but there was more of a precautionary thing because I was out for so long. It was probably about Wednesday to get rid of the lingering headaches and stuff but that was also an effort of the lack of sleep for end of season celebrations.

“I’m all good now. I got cleared to return to full contact training and back to normal.”

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