Brumbies begin quest to be tougher, fitter


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The Brumbies began their pre-season preparations for the 2009 season today with the aim of being fitter and tougher than any other side in the Super 14 competition.

Twenty-five members of the senior squad were put through their paces at the Brumbies Training Centre in Canberra, the first session in an intense three-month period of weights, conditioning and skills work ahead of the 2009 Investec Super 14 season beginning in February.

Five of the CA Brumbies’ new recruits were present today, with Sitaleki Timani, Alfi Mafi, Ben Hand, Shawn Mackay and James Stannard all embarking on their first pre-season with their new province.

Hooker Stephen Moore was the only new signing absent, with the former Reds rake joining Brumbies team mates Stirling Mortlock, George Smith, Adam Ashley-Cooper, Peter Kimlin, Mark Chisholm, and Ben Alexander on the Wallabies’ Spring Tour of Hong Kong and Europe.

Hand says a strong pre-season is the first step in his return to Super 14 rugby.

‘The pre-season [training] is always tough,’ he said.

‘I’ve done two pre-seasons with the Tahs and they’re just bloody hard work, there’s no other way to put it, but there’s always an understanding that what we do now will make it easier when the season rolls around.

‘But even knowing how tough it’s going to be, I’m just really keen to get stuck into training and I know that all the other guys are as well.’

The Brumbies pre-season preparation will include an Outward Bound trek at the end of November and a training camp to Jervis Bay in January.

Brumbies Head Coach Andy Friend says the pre-season block is an essential one for setting up the 2009 season.

‘This pre-season period is crucial in terms of physical preparation and establishing a work ethic we want to adhere to for the entire season,’ he said.

‘We’ve set ourselves the goal of being the fittest and toughest side in the competition ‘ we want our opposition to appreciate that we will play out a game for the full 80 minutes and we will challenge them both mentally and physically.

‘I’ve been very impressed with everyone’s enthusiasm towards the season ahead and it’s important that enthusiasm continues and is converted into physical results throughout the pre-season.’

The Brumbies’ pre-season preparations will culminate in trials against the Hurricanes at Canberra Stadium on 30 January and the Waratahs in Sydney (5 February).

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