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Rodda reveals how his game has changed since quitting Reds

Rodda reveals how his game has changed since quitting Reds

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Izack Rodda is set to return to the Wallabies for the first time since his controversial exit from the Reds over his refusal to take a pay cut during the COVID-19 shutdown.

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Rodda walked out on the Reds and into a lucrative stint in France with Lyon but was rumoured to take a large pay cut to return to Western Force for next season’s Super Rugby Pacific campaign.

Rodda was put up for Wallabies media duty on Tuesday alongside former Reds teammate Quade Cooper, who also was on the wrong side of Reds coach Brad Thorn during his time in Queensland.

“I played with him years ago and he is a phenomenal talent, great player and even better man off the field,” Cooper said of Rodda on Tuesday.

Izack Rodda going to work at the lineout

(William West/AFP/Getty Images)

“I’ve enjoyed being able to catch up, spend some time with him and I know he’s going to be a great asset for Australian rugby.”

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Rodda has played 25 Tests for Australia and said he didn’t expect a Wallabies call up this season. But he believes he has advanced his game in his brief time in France.

“Since being in France, I learned a lot more about physicality in the game and probably more about the aggressive side of the game,” said Rodda.

“That’s what I’ll be able to bring back now – definitely more physicality around the breakdown and ball carry which is what I thought were among my weaker points before I left for France.”

He said he was “pumped to be back” after feeling left out last season.

“I’ve been enjoying it a lot. There’s a lot of competition in the second row this year in the squad, which is good.

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“I didn’t expect it to happen this quick at all. I thought I’d just be in Perth for the next six months really. But that’s why I’m back because it’s the dream of mine to play for the Wallabies and I’m trying to do that every opportunity I get.

“If I get picked I’ll be stoked. It will be unreal to play in Perth.”

Rodda said he was encouraged by what he had seen at Western Force, whose coach Tim Sampson made him a priority signing, to the chagrin of Thorn.

“I think they’re doing really well and they’ve got a good solid roster – a good amount of young guys have come in and some older guys as well – a good mix there,” said Rodda.

“After seeing the performances this year, they’re definitely building and I think with another solid preseason under their belt the guys will be a lot better.”

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Rodda’s path to game time opened up with Lukhan Salakaia-Loto leaving camp for the impending birth of his child. Darcy Swain, who impressed against France, had a shaky second Bledisloe match and his place could be under threat.



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