Players switch codes constantly and it has happened again, with young Brisbane Broncos utility Bryce Hegarty making the decision to move to ARU side, the Melbourne Rebels for the 2013 season.
For Hegarty, the main thing that he is looking forward to during that time, is the chance to play and work alongside some current Australian union internationals in Kurtley Beale and James O'Connor.
â€œObviously in those guys (Beale & Oâ€™Connor), I have the opportunity to learn from arguably the best in the game at the moment,” said Hegarty.
“I am a very lucky guy to have that opportunity and I plan on soaking up what I can from them and the other senior guys.â€
The move will mean that Hegarty is the youngest player in the Rebels squad, but the now former Bronco is pleased that he will have completed a move to union, something that has always interested him.
â€œIt was a tough decision, and I spoke to a couple of NRL clubs (about 2013), but the Rebels just seemed like the best move at this stage of my career,” said Hegarty.
“I have always been interested in Rugby Union as a career, and (Rebels Recruiting Manager) Sam Cordingley managed to convince me to make the move here. Now I just want to take this opportunity with both hands.â€
It is the first time living interstate for the Queenslander, and one senses that getting out of his comfort zone was one of the attractions about moving to Victoria.
â€œI had only just turned 20 a couple of weeks before I moved here, but I was i
nterested to see how the club operates down here obviously with all of the AFL drawing so much of the focus.,” said Hegarty.
â€œI have been very impressed with the club culture; itâ€™s really refreshing and I canâ€™t wait for next year.â€
Whilst the opportunity to play games may only arise due to injury or suspension, that is the last thing on Hegarty's mind – as he just wants to learn about the game of Union, and hone his skills in the code.
â€œI will try and push for the team of course but mainly I just want to learn about the game and learn from the senior guys throughout pre-season, and perform when I am given the chance.â€
The first year when switching codes is never easy, but Hegarty will use that time to develop his game first and foremost, according to Rebels Recruitment Manager Sam Cordingley.
â€œPerhaps more so than the other new guys Bryce will be learning the trade a little bit in 2013. We see him most likely as playing a role in the back three, so he has to really knuckle down and get his head around the positional aspect of that.
â€œObviously with Bryce being at the Broncos, he hasnâ€™t played rugby since he was in high school, but he was a very impressive performer at that level and also showed a lot of ability playing for the Broncos youth side, where he showed his playmaking skills and ability to guide a team around the park,” said Cordingley.
â€œBryce is a great ball player, has a very good work ethic and big aspirations to become a professional rugby player. He is very driven, and his kicking game is already excellent. He is definitely a very exciting signing.”