Super Rugby: Alex Newsome 'super' excited to get back out on the field

Bring it on: Alex Newsome can't wait to run out for the Waratahs against the Reds in a couple of weeks. Photo: Julius Dimataga.
Bring it on: Alex Newsome can't wait to run out for the Waratahs against the Reds in a couple of weeks. Photo: Julius Dimataga.

After enduring arguably the toughest couple of months of his career, Alex Newsome is counting down the days until he can pull on the Waratahs' blue again.

And all things going well the Glen Innes native doesn't have long to wait.

Last week it was confirmed that the Super Rugby AU competitionwould kick-off on July 3 with the Waratahs to take on arch-rivals Queensland in the opener.

"It's been a bit of a slog to be honest through the whole isolation period and now back at training, but we've finally got our competition sorted and I'm looking forward to getting up to Suncorp in a couple of weeks to play the Reds," Newsome said.

The new domestic-based competition will see the Waratahs, Reds, Rebels, Brumbies and returning Western Force play each other twice on a home-and-away basis, and Newsome can't wait to rip in.

"When you're playing against guys that you know and might have played in junior teams with there's obviously a lot of feeling so it's going to be exciting," he said.

Newsome got a bit of a taste-test watching the New Zealand games last weekend.

"It was super exciting to see the rugby back," he said.

Especially to see the public excited for rugby to be back, with the Blues-Hurricanes game at Eden Park a sell-out. The Australian competition won't packing out the stands yet but the hope is they might be able to have up 10,000 at Suncorp for the opener.

When the players were sent home at the height of the coronavirus pandemic, Newsome headed back to the family farm.

"I spent a bit of time on the farm which was good fun, helping dad out," he said.

Inbetween he tried to keep himself in the best shape he could, running and doing weights with what equipment he had managed to jag from the Waratahs gym.

But as much as he enjoyed doing cattle work and getting back in the saddle (he did a fair bit of horse riding), he admits it was a difficult period.

Hard toil: Newsome hits the training paddock. Photo: Julius Dimataga

Hard toil: Newsome hits the training paddock. Photo: Julius Dimataga

"It was a bit of a stressful time when we were in isolation because for us we had the whole pay cut saga going on and that was hanging over our heads as well as no guarantees on the return to Super Rugby this year," he said.

Fortunately the situation around COVID improved and they were allowed to return to training with the prospect of playing some form of rugby again this season.

The new competition will give the Waratahs a chance to start anew. One from six when the competition was suspended, they couldn't have had a much worse start.

"We always knew this year was going to be a bit of a changing of the guard with the turnover of players and staff," Newsome said.

"But I think one thing this whole COVID thing has given us is the chance to review our early games and, also now we're back, get some hours out on the training paddock together."

"We've been training well the last fortnight and I'm excited to start afresh and see how we do go against these other Australian teams. It's going to be an exciting comp."