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Super Rugby rookies learn the ropes

Friday 07 Dec 2012 6:49p.m.

Super Rugby rookies learn the ropes

Quade Cooper's a shining example of just how rocky the path of a professional rugby player can be.

The latest crop of Kiwi Super Rugby rookies have been learning how to negotiate the pitfalls.

Carrying a golf ball in a tube is the rugby union's way of teaching these recruits a lesson.

A bit of a laugh here, but Super Rugby's 40 fresh faces’ lives are about to change.

Spare a thought for Taranaki farm boy Rhys Marshall who's never even played ITM cup, and was a surprise pick by the Chiefs, aged just 20.

“There's a lot resting on it, a lot of dreams resting on what I’ve got right now,” Marshall says. “It's unexplainable just how awesome this is going to be.”

"It's not only game pressure. There are more responsibilities with media, sponsors and public behaviour the union needs to help them cope with, Crusaders loose forward Shane Christie says.

“If you can't match up physically and mentally you see players back playing ITM Cup who don't get selected.”

How to unfreeze a t-shirt might one day help these young, impressionable and talented athletes keep from tripping up their careers.

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