With this year’s World Cup just around the corner, the Wallabies ramped up their preparations for the sport’s most prestigious event with a four-day training camp on the Gold Coast last month.
After a trying campaign in 2022, which saw more than 50 players don Wallaby gold, coach Dave Rennie had some tough calls to make.
Rennie, who was sensationally axed by Rugby Australia shortly after, named a 44-player squad for the camp – including 10 loose forwards.
Hard-hitting flanker Lachlan Swinton wasn’t one of them.
Swinton was sidelined for almost the entire 2022 campaign after injuring a nerve in his right shoulder during the opening round of Super Rugby Pacific.
But after a long and gruelling rehabilitation process, which Swinton said “scared” him, the seven-Test Wallaby was overlooked for the national camp.
However, the 26-year-old was by no means out of Dave Rennie’s Wallabies plans.
“Dave did give me a call, he is a good man, he’s a fair bloke. He gave me a call and talked to me,” Swinton told RugbyPass.
“He said, ‘You’re not out of the mix completely’, it’s just a matter of I haven’t played in a while and I’ve got to put my best foot forward and hit the ground running with the season.
“Rennie as a bloke is a great man, he’s a great coach as well and a good bloke.
“He did that a fair bit, called everyone and kept them in the loop, told them where they stand and gave them points in how they can get better and get themselves in the squad.
“It was really good with (him) letting me know where I’m at, and I thought it was very fair.
“I knew myself that I hadn’t played in a long time and I wasn’t making any expectations.”
Swinton made his international debut in a Bledisloe Cup clash in Brisbane just over two years ago, but it didn’t quite go to plan.
While the Wallabies were able to record a stunning win over the All Blacks, Swinton was forced to watch most of the Test from the sidelines.