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Australian Rugby Turn to Squash to Add Extra ‘Bounce’ to their Game
Top squash player David Palmer (AUS), ranked 5 in the world, has been called in by Wallabies coach, Robbie Deans, to see how his rigorous squash training methods can be utilised by the Australian rugby team.

The pair were playing squash in the Sydney Football Stadium Complex (indeed Deans plays A grade squash in Sydney and so is no stranger to the court) and realised that many elements of Palmer’s training regime and match play could be relevant to aiding the Wallabies in their ongoing quest to be the very best in the world.

Palmer is renowned on the men’s tour for his incredible stamina and fitness. In training he has been known to complete the famous ‘beep test’ five times in a row, with just a three-minute rest between tests – a feat any athlete would acknowledge as gruelling.

It is this stamina which Deans hopes to instil in his team, helping to avoid second –half ‘fadeouts’. He said: “How do you keep going when your legs are gone? That’s what our blokes need to learn.” However it’s not just the fitness, but also the mental elements of match-play which he believes will help the team: “It’s actually great for defensive technique as well.”

The move is testament to the fact that squash is an incredibly athletic game, and one that is also tactically and mentally demanding. As the sport bids for a spot in the 2016 Olympic Games against six other sports it is a great opportunity for squash to prove its credentials as a top class sport, worthy of Olympic status. As Palmer himself said: “Squash is like playing chess at a million miles an hour, and unlike other sports you have very little time to plan your next move. You need to be super fit and drill yourself often in the rigours of the game in order to stand a chance at winning.”

On his Olympic aspirations Palmer added: “ I’m a sportsman. Olympics are the holy grail for anyone in sport and I’m no different. I believe squash has so much to offer, and the fact that other great athletes turn to it for their training proves the fact. We really want in to the Olympic Games, and to compete there would be just incredible.”

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