Benn Robinson has instructed Michael Cheika to tear up his contract if the Waratahs prop ever loses his “hunger”.
In his 10th season of Super Rugby and a few days out from a game that will make him the most-capped Waratah in the province’s history, Robinson said he had lost none of the drive that propelled him to the top of Australian rugby.
“I said to the coach before: ‘When I start losing that hunger, I’ll let you know and you can tear up that contract of mine’,” he said.
“If I lose that hunger, then I know it’s probably not the place to be around any more.”
Robinson will overtake his idol and former captain Phil Waugh when he plays his 137th game in a Waratahs jersey against the Reds in Brisbane this weekend.
The 72-Test veteran said he found the milestone hard to come to terms with.
“It’s a difficult one to fathom. When I first started playing footy, I just loved what I did, and I still love what I do now,” he said.
“It still feels like my first couple of years of playing rugby. I think that’s got to do with the group I’m in at the moment, making me work really hard, making me strive to become a better person and player.
“I don’t think any player goes out there and tries to break records.”
A strong scrummager but victim in recent years of the selection axe at Test level, Robinson said he had never let the disappointing days get him down. The worst of those came in 2011, when a knee injury ruled him out of the Wallabies’ world cup campaign.
“You could say it’s a judge of character or trait of mine, I don’t know,” he said. “When things are down, I’m not one to shy away or hide from that challenge. Whether there’s been a drop [in form], or an injury or whatever it is, I’ve always had that belief that I can get back.”
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