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Rathbone's ready to play

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Clyde Rathbone battled injury and depression but is back on the Brumbies' wing, Chris Dutton writes

Back from the scrap heap ... Brumbies winger Clyde Rathbone.

Back from the scrap heap ... Brumbies winger Clyde Rathbone. Photo: Colleen Petch

It's the fairytale Super Rugby comeback that will bring fans to their feet and Clyde Rathbone has assured his teammates ''I'm ready'' to pull on an ACT Brumbies jersey for the first time in three years.

A new Rathbone will run on to Canberra Stadium on Saturday night a reinvented man ready to help the Brumbies chase Super Rugby glory.

But he doesn't want to be known as ''the depression guy'' and ''I'm not here to make up the numbers'' in the opening round against the Queensland Reds.

Rathbone's rugby journey will take him back on to the field when he makes a comeback.

Three years ago constant injuries forced him into premature retirement. Just 12 months ago he opened up publicly about his battle with depression.

But with a new perspective and a different attitude, Rathbone has redefined success for his rugby reincarnation.

He used to stress about the numbers - how many tries he scored, the metres he ran and games he played.

When things were going well, he was on top of the world.

When he was struggling, his world crumbled because ''rugby was my life''.

''The one thing that I feel I have now that makes this game different is perspective,'' Rathbone says.

''Before my goals were so rugby orientated that if I didn't achieve them, I was devastated. Now I've redefined what success is.

''It's not measured by numbers of caps or tries, it's about the difference you make in other people's lives.

''When I look back on this season, I don't want it to just be about what I've done on the field.''

A relaxed Rathbone needed only two words to convince Brumbies coach Jake White he was worthy of selection in the opening round of the season - ''I'm ready''.

The winger who played 26 Tests for the Wallabies and 49 games for the Brumbies will make his comeback complete when he lines up against the Queensland Reds.

It's been a massive turnaround from an overweight Rathbone to a fighting-fit winger who looks capable of being just as destructive as he was in the prime of his career.

At the lowest ebbs of his fight with mental demons, Rathbone was 16 kilograms overweight and considered taking his own life.

Then he decided to turn it all around.

White first approached Rathbone about a comeback in January last year.

At the time, Rathbone declined after just going public about his fight against depression.

But after some secret testing at the Australian Institute of Sport with Brumbies athletic performance director Dean Benton in June, Rathbone took the first step on his path back to the top.

''I had been playing touch every Monday, but I didn't play a game of contact footy because of my face,'' Rathbone said.

''But to be honest, I don't feel the need to go out and do 100 tackles at training or stay out there longer than everyone else.

''I've done this since I was six years old, if I haven't learnt it by now, I'm not going to.

''And I can't wait for that feeling of waking up the next day after the first game and my body feeling like I've just played.''

The 31-year-old has been inundated with messages of support this week.

White has a sense of occasion when it comes to Rathbone.

The South African mentor knows the veteran will get the biggest cheer of the night when he runs out of the tunnel and gets his first touch.

But if you think it's a token selection, you're wrong.

In fact, White and Rathbone's former Brumbies and Wallabies teammate Joe Roff say it can be one of the best seasons of his career.

''I'm excited to see those big tree trunks [legs] of his getting back on the field,'' Roff says with a grin

''I think he epitomises the real culture of the Brumbies. He's had a harder road than most, he's shown enormous courage to overcome some challenges and he's done it for the right reasons.

''It used to be he would run through brick walls and injure himself from time to time. Now he's a lot more composed and self aware.

''The last Test I played with him he scored three tries against England - you don't lose that class.

''He probably has the potential to have the best season he's ever had.''

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Round 1
Sat, 19 SepTimes shown AEST
ENG 0vs FJI 0 05:00Twic
TGA 0vs GEO 0 21:00Kholm
IRE 0vs CAN 0 23:30MilS
Sun, 20 SepTimes shown AEST
SAF 0vs JPN 0 01:45Brig
FRA 0vs ITA 0 05:00Twic
SAM 0vs USA 0 21:00Brig
WAL 0vs URU 0 23:30MilS
Mon, 21 SepTimes shown AEST
NZL 0vs ARG 0 01:45Wemb
Wed, 23 SepTimes shown AEST
SCO 0vs JPN 0 23:30Kholm
Thu, 24 SepTimes shown AEST
AUS 0vs FJI 0 01:45MilS
FRA 0vs ROM 0 05:00Olym
Fri, 25 SepTimes shown AEST
NZL 0vs NAM 0 05:00Olym
Sat, 26 SepTimes shown AEST
ARG 0vs GEO 0 01:45Kholm
ITA 0vs CAN 0 23:30Ella
Sun, 27 SepTimes shown AEST
SAF 0vs SAM 0 01:45Villa
ENG 0vs WAL 0 05:00Twic
AUS 0vs URU 0 21:00Villa
SCO 0vs USA 0 23:30Ella
Mon, 28 SepTimes shown AEST
IRE 0vs ROM 0 01:45Wemb
Wed, 30 SepTimes shown AEST
TGA 0vs NAM 0 01:45Sand
Fri, 02 OctTimes shown AEST
WAL 0vs FJI 0 01:45MilS
FRA 0vs CAN 0 05:00stadium:mk
Sat, 03 OctTimes shown AEST
NZL 0vs GEO 0 05:00MilS
SAM 0vs JPN 0 23:30stadium:mk
Sun, 04 OctTimes shown AEST
SAF 0vs SCO 0 01:45St James' Park
ENG 0vs AUS 0 06:00Twic
Mon, 05 OctTimes shown AEDT
ARG 0vs TGA 0 00:30KPS
IRE 0vs ITA 0 02:45Olym
Wed, 07 OctTimes shown AEDT
CAN 0vs ROM 0 02:45KPS
FJI 0vs URU 0 06:00stadium:mk
Thu, 08 OctTimes shown AEDT
SAF 0vs USA 0 02:45Olym
NAM 0vs GEO 0 06:00Sand
Sat, 10 OctTimes shown AEDT
NZL 0vs TGA 0 06:00St James' Park
Sun, 11 OctTimes shown AEDT
SAM 0vs SCO 0 00:30St James' Park
AUS 0vs WAL 0 02:45Twic
ENG 0vs URU 0 06:00Manch
ARG 0vs NAM 0 22:00KPS
Mon, 12 OctTimes shown AEDT
ITA 0vs ROM 0 00:30Sand
FRA 0vs IRE 0 02:45MilS
USA 0vs JPN 0 06:00Kholm
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Round 2
Sun, 18 OctTimes shown AEDT
WinB 0vs RUpA 0 02:00Twic
WinC 0vs RUpD 0 06:00MilS
WinD 0vs RUpC 0 23:00MilS
Mon, 19 OctTimes shown AEDT
WinA 0vs RUpB 0 02:00Twic
Sun, 25 OctTimes shown AEDT
WQF1 0vs WQF2 0 02:00Twic
Mon, 26 OctTimes shown AEDT
WQF3 0vs WQF4 0 03:00Twic
Sat, 31 OctTimes shown AEDT
LSF1 0vs LSF2 0 07:00Olym
Sun, 01 NovTimes shown AEDT
WSF1 0vs WSF2 0 03:00Twic
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Overall standings
Team P W L D +/- Pts
France 0 0 0 0 0 0
New Zealand 0 0 0 0 0 0
Canada 0 0 0 0 0 0
Tonga 0 0 0 0 0 0
Japan 0 0 0 0 0 0
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Rugby World Cup 2015
Overall standings
Team P W L D +/- Pts
Romania 0 0 0 0 0 0
Argentina 0 0 0 0 0 0
England 0 0 0 0 0 0
Georgia 0 0 0 0 0 0
Scotland 0 0 0 0 0 0
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Rugby World Cup 2015
Overall standings
Team P W L D +/- Pts
Australia 0 0 0 0 0 0
USA 0 0 0 0 0 0
Italy 0 0 0 0 0 0
Ireland 0 0 0 0 0 0
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Rugby World Cup 2015
Overall standings
Team P W L D +/- Pts
Fiji 0 0 0 0 0 0
Samoa 0 0 0 0 0 0
Namibia 0 0 0 0 0 0
South Africa 0 0 0 0 0 0
Wales 0 0 0 0 0 0
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