With Round One of Super Rugby next weekend, and the Sydney Sevens already done and dusted for another year, the 2019 Australian Rugby season is well and truly underway!
With that in mind, RUPA reached out to all of the current and former players on our Board to find out their thoughts on the year ahead; today, we hear from our Brumbies Player Director, Scott Sio.
Scott, what are you most excited about, from an Australian Rugby perspective, in 2019?
"We're pretty happy that we get to play Super Rugby a bit earlier than we usually do, so there's a little bit less pre-season training!
"Coming off the back of the Sydney Sevens, and the excitement around the second Super W season, there's a lot of footy for the Rugby enthusiasts to look forward to this year and I'm stoked to be a part of it."
Which Australian player(s) are you most looking forward to watching in action this year, and why?
"I am excited to see what Toni Pulu can do for the Brumbies. He's pretty rapid, and that genuine speed to complement Tom Banks out wide will be great.
"As a Rugby fan, I'm also excited to see what Quade Cooper and Willy G (Genia) can get up to down at the Rebels, and finally having my sister Ana-lise playing for the Waratahs in the Super W will be great as well. It's always exciting to watch your family run out and play, that's really special."
What does serving on the RUPA Board mean to you?
"There are so many important things involved with Rugby off the field, and making sure RUPA and Rugby Australia are working together on that is really important.
"The role of Player Director is a pivotal one among the team, and one that I have grown into, and I'm still learning as I go about the responsibilities of serving on a Board but I do really enjoy it. Everybody at RUPA has been so supportive of me and helped me along the way for the role."
What do you think is the single most pressing issue facing Australian Rugby heading into 2019?
"I guess it's not an issue, or a challenge, but the biggest area of growth for us going forward is to invest time to keep getting back to the grassroots and do the school and Club visits as much as we can as players.
"The more that we can promote the game in a good light and look after the future of our game, the better we are going to leave Rugby when we do one day walk away. The more that we can do within the community, as a broader game, will only benefit Rugby in Australia in the long run."
What is your all-time favourite Australian Rugby memory?
"For me, being a part of that 2015 Rugby World Cup was amazing as a playing memory, and also beating the British & Irish Lions team as the Brumbies in 2013 was very special as well.
"I have a lot of special memories in these Brumbies and Wallabies jerseys, and I just want to be able to keep adding to them."
Click here to see the 2019 Super Rugby fixture!