The Newcastle Knights battled the elements when they faced up to a second challenging pre-season hill session at Newcastle’s King Edward Park.
Drizzling rain made conditions slippery and muddy on Thursday morning as the squad returned for round two of the steep incline.
The session was again followed by fitness drills on the sand at Newcastle’s Main Beach before a swim in the ocean to wash off the clinging sand.
Knights forwards Korbin Sims and Robbie Rochow spoke to veteran Knight Jeremy Smith and emerging forward Luke Yates about how they managed the return to the hill.
“It was a bit wet, slippery and boggy but overall it wasn’t too bad,” Rochow told his teammate Sims on Knights TV.
“Some of the young fellas are looking really good, some of them are pretty fit and strong so they are pushing us through.
“I just have to make sure the body is feeling good and getting through the rest of the year.”
Smith, who had a delayed start to the pre-season, watched on as the team tackled King Edward Park after earlier completing his own training session to manage a knee injury.
“The team is looking good and the boys are really ripping into pre-season and getting stuck in,” he said.
“They will be pressing claims for some spots I suppose…all the boys have been pumped.”
Sprinting up the slopes was just as much of a challenge the second time around for 19-year-old Yates.
“It was pretty tough, I got knocked around a bit with the stuff out here in the sand,” he said.
“The hills were pretty tough as well, so it was a pretty big session.”
The rigorous fitness test is no stranger to the Hunter bred forward who would often run at King Edward Park when he was a member of the Knights’ junior squads.
“I used to do sessions all the time with Colin (Sanctuary),” he said.
“Every Monday was out at King Edward Park after playing on a Sunday, so it was always pretty tough.
“I think I’ve been going pretty well with a bit of guidance from the older boys.
“The Club is looking pretty good, we’re a bit of a young group, so the next couple of years we will hopefully do something special here.”