Rhys enjoying ruck battle

February 20, 2019 7:45 am in by
Rhys Stanley in action at Geelong training during pre-season. ( Image/Al Packer)

WITH his calf problems now behind him, Rhys Stanley now finds himself in another battle – the fight for the mantle as Geelong’s No.1 ruck.

The Cats have four legitimate contenders for the role, with Ryan Abbott, Zac Smith and mature-age draftee Darcy Fort also with claims to lead the one-ball brigade.

“It’s good for all of us. Every club, every player will say the same thing; competition for spots is healthy for a list,” Stanley said.

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“And I truly believe that, and all four of us are really trying to develop and develop our own game, and, therefore, developing our own games.

“Darcy Fort coming in as a new player, seeing what he’s been able to do has been really impressive. As a mature-age recruit, he’s ready to go.

“Ryan Abbott kicks goals and Zac Smith is a good ruckman.”

After a delayed start to the pre-season as he recovered from the calf injury that brought his career-best 2018 season to a premature end, the former Saint is now back in peak physical condition.

“It’s all good. Late last year I had the injury and over Christmas I had a little bit of awareness,” Stanley, who is entering his fifth season at GMHBA Stadium, said.

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“But I was able to get a really solid training block in and I had a really solid program over the Christmas break because I was playing a little bit of catch-up from missing a little bit at the start of (pre-season).

“I’m really happy with where it’s at now.”

Stanley was announced on Wednesday as the Barwon Health Foundation’s latest ambassador, maintaining the strong link between the Cats and local health authority.

“There are a few initiatives the club’s involved in and passionate about,” he said.

“Being a new dad, I’m passionate about some of the stuff the Barwon Health Foundation gets involved with.

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“I’ve done a few ward walks before and loved being a part of it.

“As soon as the opportunity came up, I jumped on it.”

Click below to listen to the full interview with Rhys Stanley

Twitter: @tom_king79