Cheika cracks the whip early
Cheika cracks the whip earlySHARE
New Waratahs coach Michael Cheika showed he's all about hard work, on Wednesday sending the squad on a gruelling running session up the South Coogee Steps – and then joining in.
Although it's early days – day three of week one – senior player Berrick Barnes praised his teammates for their pre-season efforts.
"There was a really good attitude from the boys. No whinging, they just get on and get it done and that was really impressive," he said.
Still recovering from the punctured lung he suffered against the Springboks at the end of last month, Barnes joined his NSW teammates for training this week and welcomed the in-at-the-deep-end approach.
"The session was tough and old school but that's just what we need," he said after completing the session.
"And having the coaches there and participating in it was great to see."
Barnes also praised the efforts of his new teammates, including the youngest of the group, Jed Holloway (19). "They're a good bunch of kids. The young second row forward Jed did really well on the hills, they all fitted in really well."
The team's hard work began on Monday with medical screening, fitness testing, a skills session and a weights session.
After a rest day Tuesday, Wednesday's rugby conditioning session involved 10 sets on the infamous 213 South Coogee steps, with the players recovering in between sets of five efforts.
Having previously met at Latham Park, the team warmed up with a two-kilometre run to the steps, completing the session before running back to Latham Park for a team skills session. After lunch, they finished the day with a weights session and a team meeting.
Following a day's recovery Thursday, there are similar sessions planned for Friday when the squad will complete a skills session at Manly's Keirle Park, run along Queenscliff beach and then attack the stairs from Queenscliff Surf Club up to the headland before finally running back to Keirle Park.
They will follow it up with the gym session in the afternoon.