Wallaby to club rugby: Mogg hunts form
From Wallabies whippet to club rugby commoner – Jesse Mogg’s fall from grace has been hard and fast.
But the Brumbies fullback, turned temporary reserve, hasn’t given up on a Test recall in 2014 – not just yet.
“That’s my ultimate goal, to get back there,” Mogg says.
Mogg burst onto the international scene just 12 months ago with an explosive display off the bench against the British and Irish Lions.
It was enough to earn him the Wallabies’ No.15 jersey for the two opening Bledisloe Cup matches against New Zealand, before being dropped and undergoing major shoulder surgery to prepare for 2014.
“It was a bit of a daunting task playing the All Blacks in my first starting Test, so they weren’t my two best games,” he says.
“I’ve definitely got a lot to prove to myself and the people watching that I can play up to that standard.”
The pathway Mogg will have to take before being given another crack at the top level though will be via club rugby.
That’s because the 25-year-old wasn’t just overlooked for the Wallabies’ 32-man squad against France, but lost the Brumbies’ No.15 jumper for the first time in his career for the in-form Pat McCabe the week before the squad was named.
So this week, he’ll go searching for his missing mojo when he lines up for Canberra’s Wests against the competition’s weakest side Easts – a far cry from the world-class Lions side he debuted against this time last year.
“It’s good fun getting back to where it all started with the boys,” Mogg said.
“A lot of sides at club rugby level don’t play with as much structure. It’s more off the cuff, so that will be good.”
Once he finds his legs again in club rugby, Mogg intends to battle with Wallabies No.13 McCabe for the Brumbies’ fullback spot, before putting himself back on Wallabies coach Ewen McKenzie’s radar ahead of the Rugby Championship and Spring Tour.
A personal call from the coach before the June squad was announced let him know he wasn’t out of the reckoning entirely.
“That was good. He said I was just a bit inconsistent this season – which I fully understand,” he said.