Dave Dennis to lean on Mo'onia Gerrard during rehab
July 18, 2014
Dave Dennis' season ended against the Brumbies © Getty Images
Shattered New South Wales Waratahs captain Dave Dennis is considering a rehabilitation stint in the United States to ensure he is back to lead his team in the opening game of the 2015 Super Rugby season.
Dennis said "it absolutely sucks" having to watch the minor premiers pursue their first Super Rugby crown from the stands after suffering a season-ending knee injury two games before the finals, but the former Wallabies flanker says a burning desire to captain the Waratahs in their potential quest for back-to-back titles is driving him after undergoing a third knee reconstruction last Tuesday.
"As much as I'm missing out this year, I hope to get to lead the team next year to defend the title," Dennis said. "It's really disappointing, but I spoke to 'Cheik' [coach Michael Cheika] and he sees this year as not a one-hit wonder. He sees it as long term, a bit of a revolution for the club, years and years of success and leaving a bit of a legacy."
Speaking for the first time since his surgery, Dennis said having recovered from serious injuries in the past would help. "I know what's required. I'm still motivated to get back and play."
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Dennis will also lean on his long-time partner, world champion-winning netballer Mo'onia Gerrard, for support.
"The next six months at the Waratahs, after the season is over, everyone will be off with the National Rugby Championship so there won't be many blokes around," he said. "So you need support elsewhere and Mon's a great support. She's done her ACL and had ankle reconstruction, and I think she understands the disappointment of missing out and not being around a team. That's massive and I'm very lucky to have her to help me out."
Dennis will begin his rehabilitation after consulting his surgeon on Monday.
"The program we've got at the Waratahs, which is called Sparta, is based just outside San Francisco, near Stanford Uni. So there's a possibility I might go there for a month just to mix it up a bit and try and train and get back to where I need to be."
Dennis, meanwhile, plans to be in the background as the Waratahs chase the title.
"I'll still go in each morning and blokes can ask me questions but the reality is I'm not going to be out there next Saturday when the boys play the semi," he said. "If I was out on the field battling away, as much as I'd appreciate advice, I probably wouldn't want a bloke on crutches telling me how to run a lineout."