Sport

Focused on the firsts

TOM Cox is eager to make his mark in Super Rugby this year.
TOM Cox is eager to make his mark in Super Rugby this year. Getty Images

RUGBY UNION: Brumbies flier Tom Cox is intent on making his mark on the Super Rugby scene this year after a rigorous pre-season with the Canberra-based club.

Yet to make his debut in the competition since linking with the club at the end of 2011, Cox reckons he is primed to make his presence felt this campaign.

"I'm looking to break into the run-on team as opposed to just getting into the squad of 22," he said.

"I'd be happy with getting into the 22, but my main aim is to get into that run-on team and become a regular."

At 188cm and 90kg, Cox has been touted by the Brumbies as "pound for pound" the quickest player the club has ever had on its books.

Capable of clocking 4.6 seconds over 40m, he showed his sheer pace for the club during trials last year against the Western Force and Wales, gaining valuable metres.

"Last year was my first season in professional rugby so I sort of knew that it was going to be a developmental year for me, but this year I'm hoping to get a run and play well for the main team," he said.

"And I'm confident I can do that. I've been working very hard, so physically I'm definitely up to it.

"I've also done a lot of work on my knowledge of the game."

Cox has experienced an intense pre-season, gaining 5kg in an attempt to bolster his strength, but without sacrificing any of his renowned speed.

He believes he may be behind Wallabies outside-back Joseph Tomane and Fijian Henry Speight in the pecking order for the two wing spots at the Brumbies, but he also thinks he is not far off nabbing one of those positions.

"I've spoken to the coach (Jake White) and he's really happy with things, so I've just got to wait for my opportunity," Cox said.

He anticipates the once-mighty Brumbies, a grand finalist four times in five years from 2000-2004, will be a major threat this season and is eager to see the side snap a seven-year finals series drought.

"We missed out on the finals last year by points difference when it came down to the last round, so this year we're obviously looking to go better and get into that top four and play finals football," he said.

Cox grew up on the Sunshine Coast and played for Emmanuel Lutheran College and then the Sunshine Coast Stingrays. He linked with the University of Queensland in 2011 before moving to Canberra.

He comes back to the Sunshine Coast about once a month to catch up with family.



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