STU FORSTER/ GETTY IMAGES
Former Wallabies star Drew Mitchell is working so hard at Waratahs training ahead of his return to Australian rugby at the Brisbane Tens that he’s defying sports science.
To calculate a person’s maximum heart rate, you have to minus their age from 220.
In the case of Mitchell, 33, his maximum heart rate should be 187 but during a particularly lung-busting session last week, that number somehow made it to 188.
KATE GERAGHTY/ FAIRFAX MEDIA
“I’m working hard,” said Mitchell with a grin. “My body’s feeling it. You forget pretty quickly the rigours you put your body through and it’s progressively getting harder and harder from the short time I’ve been away from the game.”
* Beale: ‘Quade’s a great guy’
“After these couple of days of training, I definitely don’t want to be involved in any long-term commitment because the training would be too much,” Mitchell said.
The former Wallabies wing, who chalked up 71 tests in a stellar international playing career spanning 12 years, has been a familiar face at Waratahs training since he was announced as a wildcard player for the two-day tournament that kicks off on Friday.
While there will be plenty of fun during the couple of days, Mitchell expects a tough hit-out and also wants to pass on his knowledge to a largely inexperienced NSW squad.
“If I can pass anything on that I was able to gain in my experience throughout my career, then great,” Mitchell said.
“If they get a bit of a buzz playing with some old retired has-been, great.
“Having us old retired players is a good aspect to the tournament. I’ve got to respect the fact they’ve still got their Super Rugby stuff to prepare for though.”
Mitchell is particularly excited by the prospect of taking the field with great mate Kurtley Beale, who will wear a sky blue jersey for the first time in almost two years after his stint in England with Wasps.
“I spent some time in his off-season just training together and doing a few little things here and there but it’s not the same when you don’t have a coach barking at you,” Mitchell said.
“I always enjoy playing with him because of the way he plays the game and the excitement he brings.”
The Waratahs have named a 22-man squad for the Brisbane Tens but rested their Wallabies representatives Israel Folau, Michael Hooper, Bernard Foley, Nick Phipps and Jack Dempsey. Sekope Kepu is suspended.
Damien Fitzpatrick will captain the side once again, after taking control for last Friday’s trial match against the Highlanders in Queenstown.
“This tournament represents a different challenge for us, in so far as it’s not quite sevens but it’s also not XVs as we know it,” said NSW coach Daryl Gibson.
“Last year was a learning experience for all teams because I don’t think we quite knew what to expect. What we learnt though was that 10s is still structured and that set-piece is still important.
“The squad for Brisbane is another opportunity for us to introduce the younger players to the fast-paced and high intensity rugby at an international level.”
– Sydney Morning Herald