Ben Hyne at Brumbies training in December. Photo: Jay Cronan Ben Hyne’s Super Rugby debut lasted just four minutes. Photo: Jay Cronan
Ben Hyne put in 12 months of preparation to become the ACT Brumbies’ ‘four-minute man’, but the versatile big man is intent on turning his debut heartbreak into 2017 success.
Hyne limped off just four minutes into his first Super Rugby game in July after falling awkwardly on his ankle and causing so much damage to the ligaments he would miss the next 14 weeks.
It was a cruel twist to Hyne’s Canberra journey after he packed his life into his car and drove from Brisbane to the capital at the end of last year to take a rugby chance.
But Hyne wants to use the “dark days” of solo rehabilitation training and his brief Super Rugby taste to fuel his Super Rugby goals next year.
“It was definitely bittersweet, but you’ve just got to shake it off and that’s what I’ve been focusing on because I want to get back there,” Hyne said.
“I’m definitely more hungry. Hungry to get back to where I was and to get another shot at it all.
“I shook it all out of the memory pretty quickly and now I’m just focusing on what I need to go forward.
“When I was coming in by myself every day to do rehab, that got a little bit dark at times but I’ve come through the other side and hopefully there are some better days ahead.”
Hyne has signed a one-year extended player squad contract after forcing his way into the squad with an impressive Canberra first-grade season and his undeniable dedication.
Hyne put his life on hold for a minimum rugby wage to shift his life to Canberra just for a chance to train with the Brumbies during the pre-season last year.
He turned that into a shock debut against the Queensland Reds last year before it all came crashing down at the first lineout of the game.
His first fight was to overcome the injury after missing the end of the Brumbies’ season, Tuggeranong’s grand final triumph and the entire National Rugby Championship.
His next fight is trying to win a spot in a Brumbies back row that already boasts Scott Fardy, Jarrad Butler, Jordan Smiler, Lolo Fakaosilea, Tom Cusack and Chris Alcock.
“The depth this year is no different to last year, everyone’s pushing for a position. But I’d say every position is up for grabs,” Hyne said.
“If I get another chance I’ll treat it like another debut because my first one was so short, but I’ve got to get back in there first.
“I feel this year there are a lot of the younger guys who have to step up and I think everyone has really enjoyed it. I’m getting more comfortable and coming out of my shell a bit more.
“But hopefully I don’t have to wait long for another shot, I’ll be pushing to try to get it in the first couple of weeks [of the Super Rugby season].”
The Brumbies will play trial matches against the an n Barbarians side on January 28 and the NSW Waratahs on February 4 before the Brisbane 10s tournament.