IT’S only been 32 days since the Sydney Roosters lifted the trophy, but the hunt to dethrone the Tri-colours has already begun with four NRL clubs returning to pre-season training.
Thursday, November 1, marked the first day of the new NRL year with new contracts officially beginning, players being able to be pursued for 2020 and clubs able to recommence training.
Every ODI and T20I ad-break free during play only on FOX CRICKET this November. Get Sport HD + Entertainment with no lock in contract and no iQ4 set up costs. Get Foxtel Sport. T&C’s Apply
MORE NRL NEWS
OUTCASTS: TEAM OF 17 THE BULLDOGS HAVE LOST SINCE 2012
BOLD: ENNIS’S GRIM PREDICTION FOR BULLDOGS IF KLEMMER WALKS
FINALS OR BUST: THE PASS MARK FOR EACH NRL CLUB IN 2019
CASH COWS: NQ PREPARE MONSTER BID TO LURE HOLMES HOME
Cowboys prepare huge Val deal0:00
NRL: With the NRL player market officially open, the North Queensland Cowboys are reportedly preparing to present a huge $3.6m deal to try and bring Valentine Holmes to Townsville.
Canberra, Canterbury, Parramatta and the Warriors were the first back, wasting no time in their pursuit of next year’s title which won’t be decided for another 339 days.
“If you want to have longer off you play finals football. It’s pretty simple,” Raiders captain Jarrod Croker said.
“Last year is done and dusted now for everyone. It’s a clean slate and fresh start for everyone.
“We’re keen to get into it, there’s no easy pre-season with the work. But we have to do it.”
The Raiders at least had good news as they began early tests on Thursday, with Croker cleared to begin straight-line running after dislocating his knee in round 18.
He’ll be back in full contact training after Christmas, with no concerns over his fitness headed into the start of 2019.
“I saw the surgeon yesterday and they’re happy with everything,” Croker said.
“I will be fine to do most of the fitness, and a lot of it will be straight-line running for the first three weeks.
“I’m fine to do that and while I’m doing that I will be easing into some change of direction and hopefully be able to do ball work and footy stuff before Christmas.”
Hayne a no-show at pre-season0:00
NRL: Off-contract star Jaryd Hayne was absent from Parramatta’s first day of pre-season training, signalling he is likely to depart for another club in the coming days.
Canberra welcomed the majority of their full squad back with the exception of their international stars in England, while recruit Ryan Sutton will start earlier than expected next week from Wigan.
At Canterbury, Kieran Foran was back fit after missing the end of last season with a toe injury, while the Eels’ top squad were back with new recruit Blake Ferguson missing with his leg injury and Jarryd Hayne absent without a contract.
Meanwhile the Warriors’ return was far more low-key with a number of their big-name players in England for the Kiwis’ Test series.
Five more clubs will return next week with the most notable being Manly, who are still yet to resolve Trent Barrett’s dramatic resignation.
Originally published as ‘Want longer off? Play finals footy’: Croker and the Raiders ready for 2019
Source: Read Full Article