MELBOURNE: Sidelined during the Super Rugby season following a shoulder reconstruction, Melbourne Rebels prop Laurie Weeks still managed to find his way into the spotlight.
The popular 26-year-old joined his Rebels teammates Nic Henderson and Tim Davidson to make a hilarious musical tribute to their retiring skipper Stirling Mortlock, with the Youtube clip garnering almost 8000 hits.
But Weeks wants to make his mark for more than his singing and dancing ability, or lack thereof, when he gets back on the field for the 2013 season.
"When everyone took their break and went away I spent pretty much the whole time here in Melbourne training and trying to get my shoulder right," said Weeks.
"It's now just as strong as it was before I injured it."
Winner of the 2009 Australian Super Rugby rookie of the year award when with Queensland, the tight-head prop has long been touted as a future Test player.
He showed he was still in the mix with his inclusion in the Wallabies' training squad last January but his chances were cruelled with the shoulder dislocation six games into the season.
"I thought I was playing pretty good football up until the time I was injured so it was a setback but that's part of rugby and part of being a professional athlete," he said.
"You have to make the most of your time."
After signing from the Reds for the 2011 season, Weeks was stuck behind All Blacks great Greg Somerville and given this year's injury, he feels 2013 will be big for the Rebels.
He said the addition of Wallaby backrower Scott Higginbotham had created a buzz and although he sympathised that suspension meant the former Red missed the tour of Europe, it was good for Melbourne.
"Our team and the dynamic has changed completely just with the change of age group," said Weeks, who in April signed on for a further three years.
"We had a lot of guys going toward the end of their career and the way they've recruited has been outstanding because the guys are just hungry and at every session guys are pushing each other.
"In testing we're faster, stronger, fitter than the last few years and guys have broken records in the gym three weeks into the pre-season so it's really exciting."