May 27, 2020

Home derbies will be testing - Weber

The challenge of back-to-back games against New Zealand opponents will test squad depth for the Gallagher Chiefs in Investec Super Rugby Aotearoa says Gallagher Chiefs halfback Brad Weber.

Speaking from Hamilton as the Chiefs enter week two of training following the Covid-19 lockdown, Weber said the physical and mental demands of 10 weeks of New Zealand derbies will be a challenge like never faced before.

“New Zealand derbies take it out of you more than any other game. I think it will take your whole squad in some form. I don’t know how they (the coaches) are going to do it,” Weber said.

“For me personally, I would like to play every minute of every game but I know these derbies really take it out of you so depending on what the coaches think we may have a rest. But I don’t really know is my honest answer.”

With the best players in the country set to go head-to-head each week of the 10-round competition, Weber said players will have to make the most of their recovery time each week.

“I’m definitely still pretty sore on Monday (following a derby clash) and depending on how much tackling I’ve had to do it can roll over to Tuesday. By the time of the last training run on the Thursday I am ready to go again. For me it depends on how much defending I’ve done that week.”

The five-Test All Black compared the lead-in to the new Investec Super Rugby Aoteraroa season to a pre-season campaign for the regular season and said previous form counted for nothing.

“I’ll just take the same mindset I have the last couple of years, which is just trying to get myself better every week and every day. My goals are around how I perform and to get better each day. It is not so much about getting frustrated that I was playing well back then, but back then doesn’t matter now, I just have to look forward and do my best every day.”

While not back to ‘100 percent’ yet, Weber was confident he would be ready to hit the season running with another two weeks of training under his belt.

“I am feeling great, the body is feeling good, and aerobically fitness-wise I’m pretty much there. It is more just the physical side of things to get up to speed to be able to tackle some big boys,” Weber said.

The Gallagher Chiefs kick off their season against the Highlanders in Dunedin on Saturday 13 June at 5.05pm.

Home derbies will be testing - Weber