Hawks star Breust still juggling balls

Every AFL player is desperate for their mid-season bye, but for Hawthorn’s Luke Breust the timing isn’t quite right.

Breust has been able to enjoy the beach and a hit of golf before returning to training on Friday, when the refreshed reigning premiers will start preparing for next Thursday’s clash with Adelaide.

In a perfect world the NSW Riverina product would instead have next week off, allowing him to attend the State of Origin fixture at the MCG in addition to Monday’s NRL match between Melbourne and Parramatta at AAMI Park.

“I’d watch more rugby league at home than AFL,” Breust admitted on Thursday.

“Because we do a lot of analysis at the club, when I get home I just sit on the couch and it’s refreshing to watch a game of league.

“We’ve got a fair few boys at the club that love their league.

“It’s just unfortunate timing that we play Thursday night in Adelaide, otherwise we would have had a fair few going to Origin.”

Breust’s AFL potential was recognised in 2008, when he won a flag with the Sydney Swans’ reserves and a national under-18 title with NSW before being selected in the rookie draft by Hawthorn.

The cousin of Trent Barrett was still flinging the Steeden around with the Temora Dragons that year.

“I don’t think I had a choice (between NRL and AFL). I’m pretty small,” Breust said.

Storm stand-in skipper and fellow Temora native Ryan Hinchcliffe isn’t quite sure.

“He was a decent rugby league player growing up and chose to go down the AFL path … I’m really glad to see him doing so well,” Hinchcliffe said.

Breust’s decision to pursue an AFL career has proven profitable.

The 24-year-old is one of the league’s most consistent small forwards, has won two flags with the Hawks and last year was named in the All-Australian side.

This season not everything has gone to plan for his Hawks, who sit sixth on the ladder after dropping four games in the opening 10 rounds.

Breust suggested mid-game lapses have cost the reigning premiers, “but it’s not like we have to re-invent the wheel to get a little bit better”.

“A lot of statistics have been very good and in our favour,” he said.

“It’s just lapses, 20 minutes here and there has cost us games.

“It was a step in the right direction on Sunday against St Kilda.

“We’ll re-set now and hopefully attack the second half of the season a bit better.”

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