New Beginnings: Hamish Stewart looking to ride a winner at flyhalf

There have been several players who have switched clubs ahead of the 2023 Super Rugby Pacific season. In a new series, sits down with some of the key transfers, starting with Western Force flyhalf Hamish Stewart.Whilst Stewart has made his name as a defensive general in the centres with the Queensland Reds, the 24-year-old makes the switch looking to make the position his own coming off strong showings for Australia A“I want to lock down that number ten jersey,” he said emphatically.“Obviously, trying to lock that down is a bit tough at the moment because we have good competition around here.“Early days, I was playing ten (at the Reds) in the start of the 2019 season, I sat down with Thorny, Jim (Mckay) and Matt Todd and spoke about my potential position for the Reds and they opted for me to go to inside centre to broaden my horizon as a footy player and see what a ten needs.“I took a lot of good things out of playing 12 and what I want out of my 12 to give to me. It’s just broadened my horizons out of what I want.”The move west didn't come without drama, with Stewart originally slated to move to the Melbourne Rebels, revealed by former teammate Alex Mafi via PACThe Rebels were keen to secure the playmaker following the departure of Matt Toomua, however, their pursuit was brought to a halt after the Reds lodged a complaint to Rugby Australia, claiming they had a 'binding agreement' for 2023.“I was looking for something different,” Stewart explained. “I was at the Reds for seven seasons and I was looking for something a bit fresher and broaden the horizons a bit so I ended up in the west.“It was a bit of a sticky part there for six weeks with interactions with Melbourne and the Reds. There were a few things that were stopping the movement to go to Melbourne.“I had the meeting with (Brad) Thorny and Sam (Cordingley) and then got the release and was off to Perth.”He admits it was initially a tough transition, but not for the reasons you might think.Outside of Rugby, Stewart is heavily involved in the family thoroughbred breeding business, Oaklands Stud, one of the top Studs in Queensland.Hamish serves as Stud co-principal alongside brother Alistair, with father Neville founding the company that has produced a host of Group One winners, including Power and 2015 Golden Rose winner Exosphere.“It was a tough transition when I first got over here,” he admits “I’m starting to link up with the Magic Millions team over here and try and venture into a few horses here. I think the boys are pretty keen to get into a horse over here so might have to bring one over here and clean up at Ascot.“Dad’s stepped back now and my oldest brother has taken the reigns fully now with his finance. I’m just doing the best I can from Perth to try and help out. When I go home, I get stuck back into work, I’m right back to the bottom when I’m back home.“Even just watching the races on a Saturday, it brings you back down to Earth, takes you away from the pressures of the world. Even seeing a horse in a paddock driving past, you feel like you’re at home.” Stewart won't have to wait long to face his old side, with the Force and Reds facing off in Saturday's opening trial of the season.“It’ll just be another game,” he stated.“Obviously, there’s a bit of emotion but they’re just another team you want to knock off. As a group, we’re looking forward to that.”Whilst it's only early days with the Force, the Brothers product likes what he sees.“It’s a do-or-die training here at the moment,” Stewart added.“Pre-season is bloody tough, no matter whether you are playing ping pong or doing everything, even something little you want to be winning.“That’s the mentality we’re taking into 2023 and at the moment, it’s pretty promising.“Coming back in after being segregated out, they’ve had a slow start but I think if there’s any year to turn it, it’s this year.“‘Cronny’ has come in with a good bunch of staff behind him that all want the same outcome. All the players have bought into what he’s brought and that’s all anyone can ask at the moment.“We’re pushing ourselves to get to that top level that we need to be to knock off the top teams in the competition.”Click Here: Riyad Mahrez Jersey Sale