Haylett-Petty hopeful of rugby comeback

Wallabies veteran Dane Haylett-Petty' has made the admission he'd walk away from rugby if that was what doctors advised after six months out with concussion.

DANE HAYLETT-PETTY.
DANE HAYLETT-PETTY. Picture: Atsushi Tomura/Getty Images

Wallabies star Dane Haylett-Petty says he'd hang up the boots if that was the medical advice as he nears six months out of action while recovering from concussion symptoms.

But the 32-year-old is confident it won't get to that, insisting he's close to a return following a rough time on the sidelines.

Haylett-Petty hasn't played since a Bledisloe Cup clash with the All Blacks on October 31 last year and will have missed the entire Super Rugby AU season if the Melbourne Rebels don't beat the NSW Waratahs on Saturday night to make the finals.

But he remains upbeat that a comeback isn't far away, having been back in full-contact training for the past three weeks.

"I've been pleasantly surprised with the recovery," Haylett-Petty said on Friday.

"We just took sort of a cautious route. Rugby Australia asked me to do several weeks of full training and contact.

"I thought I may be ready this week but they put the brakes on and said 'let's just get a couple of weeks of full contact now'.

"It's obviously to replicate a game. The next step now is to play so obviously I'll cross my fingers that we can get a win tomorrow and we can play a final so I can try and get back."

The 38-Test veteran stopped short of saying he entertained the thought of retiring, having been frustrated by migraines when he tried to run in the early weeks of his head injury.

But he's confident doctors finally have a full grasp of his condition.

"The first couple of months were tough, obviously not knowing what was on," Haylett-Petty said.

"It's about finding the right dosages of medication and how different things work and we've now got to a point where we know what works for me and have really levelled things out and I've enjoyed being back out there as part of the team (at training)."

Asked if he'd been told one more head knock and his career would be over, the fullback said: "No, not really. To be honest, if the specialist told me to retire, I'd back them and retire and they've said that's not necessary at all."

Off contract at the end of 2021, Haylett-Petty has been granted a special exemption to take a hiatus and play overseas to recoup finances lost because of the pay cut he endured because of the pandemic.

"I still love pulling on that gold jersey. I'd love to get back in that Wallabies squad and fight for that position and play for the Wallabies again," he said.

"I haven't ruled out the possibility of going overseas as well.

"I've played there when I was younger, played in France, played in Japan, so I have experienced that.

"But it's definitely an option."