Betham fit and vying for finals action
July 21, 2014
Peter Betham's lack of recent game time may count against him © Getty Images
Fiercely determined New South Wales Waratahs winger Peter Betham is adamant he's ready to play a part in Saturday's Super Rugby semi-final against the Brumbies, despite being sidelined for more than three months.
The one-Test Wallabies player suffered a fractured foot against the Stormers in early April and medics initially gave him no hope of returning before the end of the Super campaign.
"They definitely told me I'd be out for the season, they told me four months, I told them three," Betham said on Monday. "I'm going to back myself in terms of putting myself up for selection this week, train hard today and we'll see how things go. I want to be in the team moving forward and I'm definitely putting my hand up this week."
The single-minded speedster has yet to play even a club game, but is hungry to be part of the Waratahs quest for a first Super title after watching them finish on top of the ladder.
"It's been really difficult, especially watching the boys do so well," Betham said. "I definitely want to be a part of something special."
Asked what he had done to accelerate his recovery process, Betham said "we have a great rehab team, so they've monitored me pretty closely. They say 'go for a one kilometre run', I say 'go for two K's'." He hadn't spoken to coach Michael Cheika about his chances of playing on Saturday and admitted it could be a gamble without having had a lower-level hit-out to shake off any rustiness.
"I definitely understand all the factors involved, but at the same time I've still got to back myself in training," Betham said. "That's all you can do because if at the end of the day the decision is made that you're not in the team, it's for the best of the team."
If he is named in the 23 this week, Betham could find himself marking in-form Brumbies winger Henry Speight.
"He's an amazing athlete first and foremost, but at the same time we've just got to stick to what we know and that's backing ourselves as a backline," Betham said. "If you are anticipating what he's going to do, then we're going to be on the back foot."
Incumbent winger Rob Horne marked Speight in the Waratahs most recent clash with the Brumbies in June.
"He's at the core to anything that they are doing well, so he'll be a challenge for all of us to try and minimise his impact on the game," Horne said.