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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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Super Rugby 2015

Round 1
Fri, 13 FebTimes shown AEDT
CRU 10vs REB 20 Report Stats
BRU 47vs RED 3 Stats
Sat, 14 FebTimes shown AEDT
LIO 8vs HUR 22 Report Stats
BLU 18vs CHF 23 Report Stats
Sun, 15 FebTimes shown AEDT
SHA 29vs CHT 35 Report Stats
BUL 17vs STO 29 Report Stats
WAR 13vs FOR 25 Stats
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Round 2
Fri, 20 FebTimes shown AEDT
CHF 19vs BRU 17 Report Stats
REB 28vs WAR 38 Report Stats
Sat, 21 FebTimes shown AEDT
BUL 13vs HUR 17 Report Stats
HIG 20vs CRU 26 Report Stats
RED 18vs FOR 6 Report Stats
Sun, 22 FebTimes shown AEDT
STO 27vs BLU 16 Report Stats
SHA 29vs LIO 12 Report Stats
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Round 3
Fri, 27 FebTimes shown AEDT
HIG 20vs RED 13 Report Stats
FOR 13vs HUR 42 Stats
Sat, 28 FebTimes shown AEDT
CHT 25vs BLU 24 Report Stats
CHF 40vs CRU 16 Stats
REB 15vs BRU 20 Report Stats
Sun, 01 MarTimes shown AEDT
BUL 43vs SHA 35 Report Stats
LIO 19vs STO 22 Report Stats
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Round 4
Fri, 06 MarTimes shown AEDT
CHF 17vs HIG 20 Report Stats
BRU 27vs FOR 15 Report Stats
Sat, 07 MarTimes shown AEDT
BLU 10vs LIO 13 Report Stats
RED 5vs WAR 23 Report Stats
Sun, 08 MarTimes shown AEDT
CHT 20vs BUL 39 Report Stats
STO 29vs SHA 13 Report Stats
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Round 5
Fri, 13 MarTimes shown AEDT
HUR 30vs BLU 23 Report Stats
FOR 17vs REB 21 Report Stats
Sat, 14 MarTimes shown AEDT
CRU 34vs LIO 6 Report Stats
HIG 26vs WAR 19 Report Stats
RED 0vs BRU 29 Stats
Sun, 15 MarTimes shown AEDT
STO 19vs CHF 28 Report Stats
CHT 10vs SHA 27 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 6
Fri, 20 MarTimes shown AEDT
HIG 13vs HUR 20 Report Stats
REB 16vs LIO 20 Report Stats
Sat, 21 MarTimes shown AEDT
CRU 57vs CHT 14 Report Stats
Sun, 22 MarTimes shown AEDT
BUL 25vs FOR 24 Report Stats
SHA 12vs CHF 11 Report Stats
WAR 28vs BRU 13 Report Stats
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Round 7
Fri, 27 MarTimes shown AEDT
HUR 36vs REB 12 Report Stats
RED 17vs LIO 18 Report Stats
Sat, 28 MarTimes shown AEDT
CHF 37vs CHT 27 Report Stats
HIG 39vs STO 21 Report Stats
WAR 23vs BLU 11 Report Stats
Sun, 29 MarTimes shown AEDT
SHA 15vs FOR 9 Report Stats
BUL 31vs CRU 19 Report Stats
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Round 8
Fri, 03 AprTimes shown AEDT
HUR 25vs STO 20 Report Stats
REB 23vs RED 15 Report Stats
Sat, 04 AprTimes shown AEDT
CHF 23vs BLU 16 Report Stats
BRU 20vs CHT 3 Report Stats
Sun, 05 AprTimes shown AEDT
SHA 10vs CRU 52 Report Stats
LIO 22vs BUL 18 Report Stats
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Round 9
Fri, 10 AprTimes shown AEST
BLU 16vs BRU 14 Report Stats
Sat, 11 AprTimes shown AEST
CRU 20vs HIG 25 Report Stats
WAR 18vs STO 32 Report Stats
FOR 15vs CHT 24 Report Stats
Sun, 12 AprTimes shown AEST
LIO 23vs SHA 21 Report Stats
BUL 43vs RED 22 Report Stats
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Round 10
Fri, 17 AprTimes shown AEST
CRU 9vs CHF 26 Report Stats
Sat, 18 AprTimes shown AEST
HUR 24vs WAR 29 Report Stats
HIG 30vs BLU 24 Report Stats
BRU 8vs REB 13 Report Stats
FOR 6vs STO 13 Report Stats
Sun, 19 AprTimes shown AEST
SHA 10vs BUL 17 Report Stats
CHT 17vs RED 18 Report Stats
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Round 11
Fri, 24 AprTimes shown AEST
CHF 35vs FOR 27 Report Stats
BRU 31vs HIG 18 Report Stats
Sat, 25 AprTimes shown AEST
CRU 29vs BLU 15 Report Stats
WAR 18vs REB 16 Report Stats
Sun, 26 AprTimes shown AEST
LIO 34vs CHT 29 Report Stats
STO 15vs BUL 13 Report Stats
RED 19vs HUR 35 Report Stats
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Round 12
Fri, 01 MayTimes shown AEST
HIG 48vs SHA 15 Report Stats
BRU 10vs WAR 13 Report Stats
Sat, 02 MayTimes shown AEST
BLU 41vs FOR 24 Report Stats
HUR 29vs CRU 23 Report Stats
REB 16vs CHF 15 Report Stats
Sun, 03 MayTimes shown AEST
CHT 25vs STO 17 Report Stats
BUL 35vs LIO 33 Report Stats
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Round 13
Fri, 08 MayTimes shown AEST
CRU 58vs RED 17 Report Stats
REB 42vs BLU 22 Report Stats
Sat, 09 MayTimes shown AEST
HUR 32vs SHA 24 Report Stats
FOR 18vs WAR 11 Report Stats
LIO 28vs HIG 23 Report Stats
Sun, 10 MayTimes shown AEST
STO 25vs BRU 24 Report Stats
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Round 14
Fri, 15 MayTimes shown AEST
BLU 23vs BUL 18 Report Stats
RED 46vs REB 29 Report Stats
Sat, 16 MayTimes shown AEST
HUR 22vs CHF 18 Report Stats
WAR 33vs SHA 18 Report Stats
Sun, 17 MayTimes shown AEST
LIO 20vs BRU 30 Report Stats
CHT 24vs HIG 45 Report Stats
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Round 15
Fri, 22 MayTimes shown AEST
CHF 34vs BUL 20 Report Stats
RED 14vs SHA 21 Report Stats
Sat, 23 MayTimes shown AEST
BLU 5vs HUR 29 Report Stats
WAR 32vs CRU 22 Report Stats
FOR 3vs HIG 23 Report Stats
Sun, 24 MayTimes shown AEST
CHT 17vs LIO 40 Report Stats
STO 31vs REB 15 Report Stats
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Round 16
Fri, 29 MayTimes shown AEST
CRU 0vs HUR 0 17:35Trafalgar Park
BRU 0vs BUL 0 19:40GIO Stadium
Sat, 30 MayTimes shown AEST
SHA 0vs REB 0 03:10Growthpoint Kings Park
HIG 0vs CHF 0 17:35Rugby Park
FOR 0vs RED 0 19:40nib Stadium
Sun, 31 MayTimes shown AEST
STO 0vs CHT 0 01:05DHL Newlands
LIO 0vs WAR 0 03:10Emirates Airlines Park
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Round 17
Fri, 05 JunTimes shown AEST
HUR 0vs HIG 0 17:35McLean Park
FOR 0vs BRU 0 21:00nib Stadium
Sat, 06 JunTimes shown AEST
REB 0vs BUL 0 15:30AAMI
BLU 0vs CRU 0 17:35EP
RED 0vs CHF 0 19:40SS
CHT 0vs WAR 0 23:00FSS
Sun, 07 JunTimes shown AEST
STO 0vs LIO 0 01:05DHL Newlands
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Round 18
Fri, 12 JunTimes shown AEST
BLU 0vs HIG 0 17:35EP
REB 0vs FOR 0 19:40AAMI
Sat, 13 JunTimes shown AEST
BRU 0vs CRU 0 15:30GIO Stadium
CHF 0vs HUR 0 17:35Yarrow Stadium
WAR 0vs RED 0 19:40AS
Sun, 14 JunTimes shown AEST
BUL 0vs CHT 0 01:05Loftus Versfeld
SHA 0vs STO 0 03:10Growthpoint Kings Park
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Round 19
Fri, 19 JunTimes shown AEST
7 0vs 7 0 09:00
Sat, 20 JunTimes shown AEST
7 0vs 7 0 09:00
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Round 20
Fri, 26 JunTimes shown AEST
7 0vs 7 0 09:00
Sat, 27 JunTimes shown AEST
7 0vs 7 0 09:00
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Round 21
Sat, 04 JulTimes shown AEST
7 0vs 7 0 09:00
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Super Rugby 2015
Overall standings
Team P W L D +/- Pts
Hurricanes 13 12 1 0 143 57
Waratahs 13 9 4 0 50 41
Stormers 13 9 4 0 42 38
Chiefs 13 9 4 0 87 44
Brumbies 13 7 6 0 102 38
Lions 14 8 6 0 -27 36
Highlanders 13 9 4 0 89 43
Bulls 13 7 6 0 29 35
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