Monaghan - An Eye Opener
Michael Monaghan gives us an insight so far into the Wolves training camp Down Under.
The Wolves' hooker also enjoyed his off-season in Australia catching up with family and friends, giving him time to recover from his injury and operation from last season.
"It's taken a little bit of time to recover and has slowed my pre-season training a bit but since we've all come together, my shoulder's feeling better and hopefully I'll be right for the game next week and the start of the season. It's a great time of year to be back on the paddock and I'm looking forward to the start of the season."
The team has certainly been put through its paces on this pre-season camp but Michael says morale is good amongst the players.
"It's tough work we're are doing out here so to be honest some of the lads are a little jaded and there are a few grumpy blokes walking around. We are working really hard and I think it's been a bit of an eye opener for the boys to see what it's like training out here and in these conditions as these are completely different from what you get in England. The boys are tired and a bit fatigued but they are all enjoying the experience of the Australian culture and the new ways of playing and training."
Training has seen the players team up with the Rabbitohs and Swans, whilst also battling steep sand dunes. These experiences have benefited the team's preparations ahead of the new season.
"The Swans training was a good session in kicking and catching. Obviously their whole game is based around catching the high ball something we're pretty good at already with Joel and obviously Kingy last year but it was good for our outside backs and some of the younger guys to get that experience. It's been good to see the Australian sporting culture and approach which has been an eye opener, seeing people out at 6 o'clock in the morning running and swimming which is obviously something you can't do much of in England. The various sessions have also seen a few new technical things that we can learn how to adapt and use when we come back to England."
The team has also taken time to give something back whilst over in Australia holding coaching clinics for several young teams Down Under. (Michael pictured coaching above)
"It's good for the boys to get out and offer some advice and develop their coaching skills as well. It's been a good way to spread the brand of Warrington Wolves which is a large part of this trip and we've been able to do that and have had a good response from the kids and all those we've met."
The Wolves' pre-season camp, sponsored by Emirates, will culminate in a friendly match against NRL side South Sydney Rabbitohs which Michael feels will be a great test for the team.
"Obviously the conditions will be a factor but we'll be ready for it. We've had a slightly interrupted pre-season with international guys coming back later and a few injuries but we'll definitely handle ourselves well and give those people who come to the game a feel of how we play as it will be different from how most teams play over here in Australia. I think they'll enjoy seeing the style of rugby we play too. Unfortunately the Souths probably won't put out their strongest side but those who do play will do a really good job and it will be tough game for us."
Michael finished by telling us what it's like to be in Australia with his Super Star captain and getting to catch up with an old friend.
"Walking round Coogee you realise Mozza's a bit of a ‘super star' round here. You can't walk round without him getting pulled up by somebody.
"It's been good to catch up with Kingy too and I know he's enjoyed seeing all the boys again."
Michael Monaghan pictured above with teammates Ben Harrison and Lee Briers.
Don't forget the Wolves have a limited edition Emirates 2012 Tour shirt on sale now from £45. Pop into WolfWare or click here to buy online. Be part of the Australian experience.
Visit the Emirates 2012 Tour Page. Click here.
19, Jan, 2012