ACT Brumbies hooker Lachlan Lonergan is eager to reclaim his spot in the Wallabies squad as he looks to help the club to a Super Rugby title.
Lonergan was the hero in the final Test of 2022 when he scored the game-winner against Wales to cap off an incredible comeback victory.
However, nine months later the 24-year-old found himself out of the squad altogether for the Rugby Championship, overlooked for Jordan Uelese and Matt Faessler.
Instead, Lonergan found himself waiting in the wings with the Australia A squad before joining the Barbarians' tour of the UK.
“Yeah it was tough (missing out on the World Cup squad). Everyone was in the same boat with a lot of Aussie boys in that Baa Baas team," he told Rugby.com.au
“At the start of the year, we all wanted to be playing at the World Cup and we were devastated not to be there. You felt for the boys who were there, they’ve gone through a hard time and I’ve spoken to them and they’ve said it was a tough time.
“You feel kind of bad because the boys on Baa Baas were having a great tour, one of the best we’ve had. Obviously, World Cup is 100% where you want to be but the Baa Baas was the next best option after that.
“In hindsight, it wasn’t the worst thing but (World Cup) is where you want to be.”
The disappointments from the World Cup will naturally fuel most players whether selected or not, but the Brumbies have their own unfinished business to attend to.
The club once again were eliminated in the semi-finals of Super Rugby Pacific, going down to the Chiefs.
“There was a bit of frustration coming in (to pre-season) but I feel like everyone has parked that and is trying to move on," he believes.
“There’s a new coach in now and we’ve just got to get stuck in at Super Rugby, try and win that and that’ll just put us in the best state to play for the Wallabies.
“Those boys coming back are obviously very disappointed and they didn’t really enjoy it too much but they are just hooking in now and trying to have a good Super Rugby season.
“The loss in (the) semi-finals fuels the hunger to try and push one game further this year. We’ve used it as motivation to try and get better this year. The boys are ripping in and hopefully with a bit of luck on your side (we can be there), but at the end of the day it’s just what you put in at this time of the year that pays dividends at the end.”