Waratahs and Wallabies centre Izaia Perese has opened up on his road to recovery, pushing to be right for the start of the Super Rugby Pacific season.Perese suffered a ruptured patella tendon during the Wallabies' second Test against England in July, ending his season prematurely.CLICK HERE TO GET YOUR EARLY BIRD AND HOSPITALITY TICKETS FOR THE HSBC SYDNEY SEVENSThe 25-year-old began running at the start of the month, moving on to change of direction work before the Waratahs head on leave.Perese was candid about the recovery process, keeping a positive outlook on the journey and refusing to let any setbacks affect him mentally.He has plenty of company in rehab after a brutal season gutted the Waratahs, which has allowed the electric centre to find the 'fun' in the process.“I think not thinking about too much is key,” Perese admitted to Rugby.com.au.“There are two ways about it and I think it’s all about the people you have around you. We’ve had a great rehab group with the likes of Will Harrison, Lachlan Swinton, and Angus Bell from the start. It’s just me and HJH (Harry Johnson-Holmes) now.“It’s a great rehab group that not only gets the job done but we keep things around the joint light-hearted and have a good humour around everything.“It definitely doesn’t feel like five months, it feels like it's gone by (quick) because we’ve been having a lot of fun."…I’m taking it day-by-day because sometimes you can sit back and come in and something will happen and they say ‘we’ll pull you back from all this today' and that sets it back. I’m taking it week-by-week but I still have Round One as a goal.”Perese watched from the sidelines as several Waratahs teammates got their chance to shine for the Wallabies in the Rugby Championship and Spring Tour.This includes centre Lalakai Foketi, who built off last year's brief Wallabies cameo with several strong performances in the 12 jersey before succumbing to a shin injury.“I love it. It hits different when you train, play and compete against the boys and all of a sudden you’re in the same (national) team as them," Perese said on their rise.“When you are watching them play, it’s a different emotion, you want to get out there and play beside them but seeing their growth is outstanding.“Knowing Lal (Foketi) personally, he’s such a great bloke and a love him as a bloke. It’s great to see that stuff and it makes me really proud.”With this comes greater expectations for the Waratahs in 2023, with CEO Paul Doorn and coach Darren Coleman echoing top-four as the goal when they opened their Centre of Excellence last week.However, Perese isn't feeling the pressure, rather backing the extensive preparation done by the team to help take them to the next level.“I feel like there’s always pressure regardless it is a winless season or whether we’re out to make a statement for 2023," he added.“In saying that, I don’t feel the pressure at the moment because I feel we’re working so damn hard now that the preparation that we’re doing now is going to set us up for a good season ahead.“As all good teams start to flourish, you have to be together prior to the three years. Right now, we’ve been together for the past two years and now is a good (time) to take off, we really have no excuses to fall back on except to work hard for each other.“We have to have the confidence in our preparation to go out and perform for those 80 minutes. I feel like it’s harder to get the prep right than to go out and perform because if you have the prep right, you can fall back on that in those pressure moments.”Click Here: sydney roosters jersey
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