Test veteran Wycliff Palu feels he has nothing to prove after rejoining the NSW Waratahs, but wouldn’t mind adding to his Wallaby caps tally after injury wrecked his 2015 World Cup campaign.
No.8 Palu was meant to be saying sayonara to the Waratahs after amassing 121 caps and joining a Japanese club after last year’s World Cup.
A hamstring injury in the Wallabies pool game against Uruguay cut short his campaign in that tournament and the lengthy rehabilitation prevented him from fulfilling the first of two years on his Japanese contract.
“I was just back here (at the Waratahs) doing rehab and “Daz” (Waratahs coach Daryl Gibson) approached me and asked me if I was interested (in coming back) and I jumped at the chance,” Palu said on Monday.”
“It’s not like I’m coming back to prove anything, I’m trying to be here to help out the side.
“I’m a big believer that everything happens for a reason. It’s not by bad luck or chance that I’m here again.
Capped 57 times by Australia, 33-year-old Palu hasn’t ruled out pushing to try and add to that tally.
“If I play well enough, I’m just like anyone else that’s playing Super Rugby in Australia, it comes down to form,” Palu said.
“I’m working hard just to get back into the Waratahs setup. I had a bit of a late start to the pre-season, so I’m a bit behind the eight-ball at the moment.
“I’m just going to try and get my body in shape and if that takes six weeks it takes six weeks.
“But I’m not going to go and push myself and try and get back for round one.”
Although their 2016 squad contains 14 Test players, the Waratahs have still lost several experienced campaigners to overseas clubs including Sekope Kepu, Jacques Potgieter and Adam Ashley-Cooper.
“They are such big influences around the team,” Palu said.
“For me, it feels like a whole different team.
“You look around, most of the young guys here have been around for a number of years, so it’s time for them to step up and really take control and try to own the position they are going for.”
Asked what he would have been doing had Gibson not approached him Palu quipped “I would have been sitting at home right now playing Playstation waiting to get on a plane to Japan.”
Halfback Matt Lucas, who made 12 Super appearances for the Tahs in 2013-14, has re-signed with the franchise for two seasons until the end of 2017.