The Socceroos defender has been one of the national team's hardest hit by persistent injury concerns, with his first loan deal at Sunderland punctuated by further spells on the sidelines.

But that didn't prevent the League One club snapping up the chance to sign the former Bristol City captain on permanently, and now Wright says his body is paying back the faith.


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"I'm feeling the best I've been, mate," he told the Sunderland Echo. "My time out with injury was so frustrating but that's part of football.

"Fortunately for myself I've had about six months to get myself fit because of everything that's gone on. It made it a bit of a different rehab to what I've previously been used to.

"But it was a challenge that I just had to overcome and make the most of it with the extra time.

"I think I've done that because I feel good, I feel fit and I'm really looking forward to getting down to business."

Despite the drop-down a division, things look bright for Wright given Sunderland's turnaround of fortunes recently, that saw the club whiskers from promotion before last season was called-off due to COVID and the results were declared null and void.

Wright says Sunderland are beginning to fulfill their lofty potential.

"The competition for places here is strong," he continued.

"There's a couple of new lads come in and Morgs [Morgan Feeney] from day one seems to have settled right in. He's a good lad and can bring a lot to the team.

"That's what we want, we want everyone who comes in to be keeping each other on their toes. And whoever gets that shirt at the start of the season, it has to be known that it's not guaranteed for anyone that they keep it.

"Everyone here now has a good chance of making that shirt theirs for the start of the season, and we all need each other to keep pushing each other on.