A conversation with Wallabies assistant coach Stephen Larkham sparked the push for Jack Maddocks to set his sights on being the next Wallabies flyhalf.
Maddocks was picked as a development player on last year’s Spring Tour, having caught the eye of Michael Cheika’s staff in a breakout year at fullback for the Rebels.
But a chat with Larkham upon arrival on tour had Maddocks largely running at the position he grew up playing during his schoolboy career at Scots College – flyhalf.
“I asked (Larkham) on one of my first days on tour what he thought of my game and he said he hadn’t seen that much,” Maddocks said from Tokyo on Thursday.
“So he said he would go and watch my last three games of NRC and then he came back to me the next day and said I have all the attributes to be a 10.
“I trained there from that point on.”Rebels coach Dave Wessels believes Maddocks’ best position is at flyhalf and the 21-year-old is on the same page.
“Long term, that’s my ambition,” Maddocks said.
“I’ve always wanted to go back there because it was the only position I played growing up.
“I was a lot smaller and slower and stuff back then and as I got bigger and faster, I moved back to fullback.
“I always wanted to move back to 10 because I thought if I could combine my old game with the new physical attributes I have now, there’s no reason why I couldn’t be a good 10.
“When I went on tour I was pretty surprised they saw me that way but I really enjoyed it and it’s something I want to do in the future, for sure.”
While that may be his long term goal, for now, Maddocks is filling the hole on the right wing left by Marika Koroibete.
Playing on the wing is not something the Rebels star is fond of but it has its positives, behind an improved Melbourne outfit that faces the Sunwolves on Saturday afternoon.
“I never played there growing up and I don’t really want to play there long term,” Maddocks said.
“But in a team running off a forward pack and backline that we have, it’s not the worst gig in the world.
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“I’ve got a fair bit of freedom to work in off my wing and get involved in the middle of the field.”
The Rebels face the Sunwolves in Tokyo on Saturday afternoon, kicking off at 3:15pm AEDT, broadcast LIVE on FOX SPORTS.