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Soldier Douglas aiming for officer class


Kane Douglas

Kane Douglas

Kane Douglas

Australia lock Kane Douglas left one champion club in New South Wales Waratahs for another.

It has taken time for him to come to grips with the habits preached and practiced in the northern hemisphere where old school set-piece values are pushed to the limit.

"Yeah, it's a bit different," he said.

"I think you spend more times in scrums and lineouts and lineout-mauls. There's more of a focus on that during the week in training," he said.

"I suppose there are just different calls. You have different team-mates and different calls, the way people play around you."

Scrum coach Marco Caputo sees his countryman Douglas as something of an unpolished diamond.

"If you look at Kane, he was finding his feet early doors with his first couple of appearances. He was great off the bench, really made an impact and put himself about," said scrum Caputo.

"Kane's used to coming out of Super rugby and playing 80 minutes every week.

"He's noticed that there's a significant difference in the style of game up here, having spoken to him.

"The physicality is an aspect that probably isn't there in Super rugby, the attritional bash-up of playing on a wet pitch in the weather conditions that are up here.

"Kane has the athletic bits that most locks don't have. He can make a tackle that can change the momentum of a game, he can carry the ball, he's good aerially.

"The bit that Kane wants to get out of coming up here is developing his intellectual nous around the lineout."

Like Paul O'Connell, he would probably describe himself as a work-rate second row without the lineout mastery, a disciple of the unglamorous work.

"In Australia, he was known more as a soldier than for his intellectual ability around running a lineout, the organisational bits around that.

"He's getting that now with Leo (Cullen) and Dev (Toner)."

Where Douglas took one giant step foreward against Connacht, he regressed at Thomond Park. Consistency is key.

"We were beaten by Munster in the physical department and Kane's got the ability to be that physical presence on the field and impose himself," stated Caputo.

"He's six foot eight, six foot nine, 120 kilos and when he whacks you, you stay whacked. We need to get that out of Kane and make sure that when he carries the ball he moves the gain line forward and he does have the ability to do that."