Scott-Young benefiting from Bunnings NPC experience

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The 24-year-old loose forward took the chance when missing selection for Australia last year to play in New Zealand and told rugby.com.au that it had been 'an incredible experience'.

 

"I went down to Mt Maunganui, and Bay of Plenty, and played four months down there with the Steamers – awesome experience living with two Chiefs' guys who are now great mates," he said.

 

"I'm glad as part of my rugby journey I got to experience that."

 

A bonus was preparing alongside All Blacks captain Sam Cane while recovering from his pectoral injury.

 

"I learnt a lot from guys like Sam Cane, who I was training with every day. He's someone I've looked up to for a long now, so learning from him was incredible.

 

"I learnt a lot from that Kiwi competition [Bunnings Cup]. It's an incredible experience, and I'm glad I can bring that knowledge and experience back to the Reds," Scott-Young said.

 

One of the first things he noticed was the sense of community that bound players.

 

"The Kiwi boys do it really well in what they do off the field in building connection. That culture they have, I'd love to emulate that here at the Reds," he said.

Scott-Young had earlier posted on social media: "I've had a lot of fun playing some tough kiwi [sic] footy, visited many incredible places and made some friendships that I will cherish for the rest of my life. I am so proud of this team and genuinely in awe of the strength of character shown by my peers when faced with extreme adversity.

 

"This experience has, without a doubt, been one of the hardest of my life for many reasons. I've learned so much about myself, and grown both as a rugby player and as a man."

 

That experience included helping his teammates cope with the death of Chiefs back Sean Wainui.

 

With the benefit of the knowledge gained, Scott-Young said he was looking forward to playing against the New Zealand sides in the second half of the Super Rugby Pacific season, especially the Chiefs.

 

"Looking back on our challenges for 2021, we did well in the Super Rugby Australia competition, which we won, and that was awesome, but in that Kiwi portion [Super Rugby Trans-Tasman], we let ourselves down.

 

"We weren't competing. We won one game and we were lucky to win that."

 

That side hadn't been up to scratch in that area, but with their squad, the growth in the team, and the knowledge he has picked up in New Zealand, he feels they can improve.

 

"That's our goal this year – to compete with them. It's a tall ask because they are very talented, but we're going to go for it," he said.