Featuring in every round of the Rebels debut Super Rugby campaign in 2011 and named Super Rugby Rookie of the Year at the end of his debut season for the Queensland Reds in 2009, Laurie Weeks is already making his mark on Australian Rugby Union. Having been a member of the Wallabies squad, but yet to feature in a Test, we hope to see that featuring in the future for this rising star. Laurie has been kind enough to talk to me about all things rugby!
Name: Laurie Weeks
Super Rugby Team: Melbourne Rebels
National Teams: Wallabies
How/Why did you start playing rugby?
I started playing rugby league when I was 6 years old and then moved to rugby union once I started high school because that was the only code they played there.
Who has been the greatest influence on your career?
Definitely my mum. She has always been my biggest fan and has probably seen nearly every game I’ve played in my life.
What has been the highlight of your career so far?
Definitely my debut in Pretoria! My first game for the rebels against the Waratahs would be close. The atmosphere at the game was amazing.
Who is the toughest player you played against?
I’d have to say Richie McCaw, the impact he has on any team that he plays for is incredible. Not only is he a great leader but also a legendary player.
What is your favourite stadium to play in?
AAMI Park in Melbourne. Not only is it beautiful to look at but the atmosphere and sound in there once it’s full is a totally surreal experience.
In 2009 you were named Super Rugby Rookie of the Year, how did it feel to win that award?
I was surprised and completely honoured. It also gave me the desire to achieve more.
What’s the team environment like at the Rebels?
Great. The major difference I’ve noticed compared to any other team I’ve been in is how family orientated all the players are. A large majority of the playing group are married with children and are raising young families. It really helps you put into perspective the balance you have to have between football and the rest of your life.
How is pre-season going?
Pre-season this year has been great. We learnt a lot from last year about the preparation we needed to have for this season. I think both players and coaches have come away wiser, and have really worked hard to make sure we are the best team we can possibly be.
What can we expect from the Rebels in the 2012 season?
Not only have we had a great pre-season but we have also signed, in my opinion, two of the best players in the world. I think we’ll turn a lot of heads in our performances, and will be a far greater team than we were last year.
How has social media changed the way you interact with your fans?
Haha, I’ve used social media a long time before I’ve had any fans. But through sites such as twitter, it’s always a bit of fun to interact with supporters and hear their point of views on how the team is going.