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Towering Glendale Raptor lock forward Casey Rock is off to play in Australia.

Rock will be joining the University of Queensland program, and hopes to use that experience as a springboard into USA contention.

“I obviously haven't been guaranteed a spot, and the club fields four men's sides, so I'm preparing for a lot of hard work in order to work my way up the ladder,” Rock told “I'm confident in my abilities and where I am physically right now, though,  so my hopes are high.”

Having achieved his teaching degree, Rock will actually be concentrating on rugby on this trip.

“My main focus heading down there is the mental side of the game,” he said. “You can always improve your skills and knowledge, but a more specific goal for this trip is to improve my decision-making process and learn more about the subtleties of how the game works and flows in order to put myself in a better position to help the team. Playing with guys like Alec Parker and Hayden Mexted this year helped a ton with that aspect of my game, but here in the states we just don't play enough rugby in a season to maximize learning opportunities like that.”

Rock said he wants to be an Eagle. He had a good club season in 2011 and felt he played well against the USA Selects during the Eagle buildup for the World Cup. Now he wants more.

“I think a season or so of playing frequently at a high level will give me the tools to make that a reality<’ he said.