Alex Cuthbert shrugs off "second season syndrome" fears
Grand slam sensation Alex Cuthbert says he has no fear of second season syndrome, after a meteoric rise from regional hopeful to Test match regular.
The 22-year-old only became a Blues regular while his colleagues were away on World Cup duty last autumn, but he made such an impression when handed his chance in the Six Nations that he is now regarded as a stick-on first choice at international level.
The pessimists appear to be waiting for him to be worked out by opposition defences though, with claims he could struggle to make the same impact when action resumes in a fortnight.
But Gloucester-born Cuthbert insists he is not fazed by so-called second-season syndrome, saying: “I don’t believe in that at all."
“I’ll just keep doing the same things I did last season.”
But he did concede that there are many things he needs to add to his game.
“I think I need to improve my all-round game and international rugby is still new to me, I’m still a youngster,” he said.
“I need a bit more experience and I have loads to learn."
“I take nothing for granted, I just want to train hard and play well."
“I know there are plenty of others who want the shirt I am in at the moment, so I need a good start to the season.”
Cuthbert is in the second batch of Blues players preparing for the new season, having only started back training two weeks ago after a month’s break following Wales’ tour to Australia.
He reflected on the 3-0 whitewash Down Under with a rueful tone.
“The summer tour was totally different to the Six Nations,” he said.
“The first game didn’t go our way and we were unlucky to miss out in the second one."
“But I think the experience will do us good in the long term."
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