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Shot-putter readies to prop up Rebels

Date

Daniel Lane

Adventure ... Olympic shot putter Dale Stevenson.

Adventure ... Olympic shot putter Dale Stevenson. Photo: Getty Images

FOUR months ago Dale Stevenson tipped the scales at 138 kilograms when he threw the shot put for Australia at the London Olympics. Now, after whittling 20 kilograms from his powerful frame, he's determined to make his mark as a prop for the Melbourne Rebels.

Stevenson didn't make the Olympic final and switched to rugby on his return after he became disillusioned with aspects of athletics.

He admitted that, while his experience in the 15-man game was restricted to a few matches in the English high school system, he was braced for what he called ''an adventure''.

''I'm enjoying the challenge. It's not easy but I didn't expect it to be,'' the 24-year-old said. ''The big thing over the past few months was getting myself into shape so I can handle a full-time training load and get around the park.

''I fell in love with the game when I went to school in England but on my return to Melbourne in 2001 there weren't many avenues for rugby so I went down the AFL path before I found athletics.''

The strongman, who'll find his footy feet through the Rebels' academy and the Melbourne Harlequins, will definitely add some muscle to the scrum. Despite losing some of his pure strength and power with the weight, his figures in the gym suggested he laid claim to being the strongest man in any of Australia's football codes.

''There was a 220-kilogram bench press, a 290-kilogram squat and a 185-kilogram clean [lift],'' he said. ''While the numbers were down on what I've done in the past, I was reasonably happy they didn't fall off as far as I thought they might have.''

He was not overly concerned about the combative side of the sport.

''That was raised when I initially spoke to the Rebels and they wanted to know if I could handle the physicality of it and not only hold my own but actually win some contests,'' he said. ''Over the past few months we've done grappling, wrestling and scrummaging and I've taken to it better than was originally forecast. I know it's different from a game situation but it is nice to know.''

While Stevenson said he was a long way from thinking about playing for the Wallabies, another former shot putter, Tom Court, proved it was possible to succeed. After switching to rugby in 2004, Court represented Queensland and Ireland as a front-rower.

Rugby Internationals 2014

Round 1
Sat, 07 JunTimes shown AEST
SAM 18 vs TGA 18 Report Stats
FJI 25 vs ITA 14 Report Stats
NZL 20 vs ENG 15 Report Stats
AUS 50 vs FRA 23 Report Stats
Sun, 08 JunTimes shown AEST
RSA 47 vs WXV 13 Report Stats
ARG 17 vs IRE 29 Report Stats
USA 6 vs SCO 24 Report Stats
CAN 25 vs JPN 34 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 2
Sat, 14 JunTimes shown AEST
SAM 15 vs ITA Report Stats
FJI 45 vs TGA 17 Report Stats
NZL 28 vs ENG 27 Report Stats
AUS 6 vs FRA Report Stats
Sun, 15 JunTimes shown AEST
RSA 38 vs WAL 16 Report Stats
CAN 17 vs SCO 19 Report Stats
ARG 17 vs IRE 23 Report Stats
USA 29 vs JPN 37 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 3
Sat, 21 JunTimes shown AEST
ARG 19 vs SCO 21 Report Stats
FJI 13 vs SAM 18 Report Stats
JPN 26 vs ITA 23 Report Stats
AUS 39 vs FRA 13 Stats
NZL 36 vs ENG 13 Report Stats
Sun, 22 JunTimes shown AEST
RSA 31 vs WAL 30 Report Stats
USA 38 vs CAN 35 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 4
Sun, 29 JunTimes shown AEST
RSA 55 vs SCO 6 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 5
Sun, 02 NovTimes shown AEDT
BAR vs AUS 01:30Twic
USA vs NZL 07:00Soldier Field
View All Fixtures
Round 6
Sun, 09 NovTimes shown AEDT
ITA vs SAM 01:00Stadio Del Duca
ENG vs NZL 01:30Twic
WAL vs AUS 01:30MilS
FRA vs FJI 03:45Stade Velodrome
IRE vs RSA 04:30Lansdowne Road
SCO vs ARG 04:30Murrayfield Stadium
View All Fixtures
Round 7
Sun, 16 NovTimes shown AEDT
ITA vs ARG 01:00Stadio Comunale Luigi Ferraris
ENG vs RSA 01:30Twic
WAL vs FJI 01:30MilS
SCO vs NZL 04:30Murrayfield Stadium
FRA vs AUS 07:00StdF
Mon, 17 NovTimes shown AEDT
IRE vs GEO 01:30Lansdowne Road
View All Fixtures
Round 8
Sun, 23 NovTimes shown AEDT
ITA vs RSA 01:00Stadio Plebiscito
SCO vs TGA 01:30Rugby Park
IRE vs AUS 03:30Lansdowne Road
WAL vs NZL 04:30MilS
ENG vs SAM 06:00Twic
FRA vs ARG 07:00StdF
View All Fixtures
Round 9
Sun, 30 NovTimes shown AEDT
ENG vs AUS 01:30Twic
WAL vs RSA 01:30MilS
View All Fixtures
 
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