Wolves And Rabbitohs In Training
The Warrington Wolves and South Sydney Rabbitohs worked hard during their training session at the Australian Technology Park Performance Centre at Redfern Oval.
The teams initially trained separately with the Wolves working agility, speed and fitness, and the Rabbitohs working on ball skills, fitness and defence. The teams then came together in two separate opposed sessions, testing both teams' attacking and defensive set ups.
Around 250 supporters descended on Redfern Oval to watch their heroes train, and prior to training, Warrington players Brett Hodgson and Ben Westwood along with Rabbitohs players Matt King and Nathan Peats spoke with the media about the Return to Redfern match and the joint training session.
Wolves' Ben Westwood said the training camp in Sydney has been great for him and the squad.
"It's been great to come out here and enjoy the good weather while we're training and do some training with a few different people. It's a great experience for us and some of the young guys are getting the chance to see what level they need to play at to play in the first team."
He added: "We haven't really talked about the NRL or anything like that (with the Australian players in the Warrington squad). We're just concentrating on our training in the good weather and getting ready for the start of our season."
Ben also hinted at a special reception for his former Warrington team mate in Matt King on Saturday 28 January.
"We've got a few surprises up our sleeve for Kingy! No I'm just kidding," he laughed. "He'll just be another player on the opposition when we play and he's a good mate of ours."
Fullback Brett Hodgson also said he's enjoying being back in Australia.
"It's great to be back, especially in this weather. It's been a beautiful last couple of days. It's been good fun and we're getting a lot out of this experience and hopefully we continue to do so. We're training very well at the moment but it's a matter of adapting what we can learn and continue to improve on over here to take back to the English conditions. You go back to wet weather footy and you won't be playing in conditions like this, but the skills we learn here can be transferred back there which is a positive."
He added: "It will be a big test against South Sydney. The way Michael Maguire has come here and ripped into their pre-season training. I'm sure he's looking for a very solid performance from the Souths boys just as we are from our guys. We want to come here and pit ourselves against a team playing in the best competition in the world. If we go well then that's very positive for us going back into the Super League."
Brett also believes it would be beneficial for other Super League clubs to head to Australia at this time of year to train, but it's a lot easier said than done.
"It's a difficult game to put together and I know Russell Crowe and Simon Moran plus the clubs have worked hard to put it all together. We've also had Emirates put their hand into their pockets to make it all happen and make it possible. There's probably only one or two Super League clubs who would be in a position to do something like this. We're in a very fortunate position that we can. It's a tough prospect but if it can be done in the future then I think it will be very beneficial."
Rabbitohs new signing and former Wolves' star Matt King was excited about the joint training session.
"It's Christmas time all over again for me, to have two sets of great mates here training. It's a very unique situation for myself. It is different (training against your opposition), but I guess we can do that because we won't be competing against each other during the season. We won't be giving away too many secrets but it's a great initiative from both clubs to play this game."
Rabbitohs hooker and Indigenous All Stars team member, Nathan Peats, said he is keen to get on the field in the Rabbitohs' first game of the season.
"I'm looking forward to it. We've had a good pre-season so far, it's been pretty tough, but that's what every NRL Club does so far. We're really looking forward to next weekend's game against Warrington to see where we are. Everyone's pretty pumped and looking forward to it."
Tickets for the Return to Redfern match between the South Sydney Rabbitohs and Warrington Wolves can be purchased by clicking here.
And 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.
(article information and photos courtesy of the South Sydney Rabbitohs club)
17, Jan, 2012