The Newcastle Knights have hit the ground running for their first pre-season training session after a two-week Christmas break.
A refreshed coach Rick Stone was pleased the side resumed with the momentum it had built in the previous seven weeks of the pre-season.
Yet, with just weeks before the side takes the field for the first time in 2015 at the Auckland Nines tournament, Stone concedes there’s still a hard slog ahead.
“It is a busy month in January and we’ve got a bit to get through,” Stone told the media after Monday’s first session.
“The main thing is to keep the momentum that we provided before the break.
“I think our energy was good, our work ethic was good and we did our extras really well.
“We trained really hard and got plenty done.
“Obviously we have to get back into the swing of things after two weeks off, but we’ll manage the boy's loads and intensity this week and will get back into full swing next week.”
The players underwent fitness and skinfold tests on Monday to gauge their overall condition after the break.
“Most of it looks pretty good. We had some boys work really hard pre-Christmas to get themselves in shape and most of those got out of that extras group,” he added.
The side has also remained largely injury free during the pre-season outside Aku Uate (knee) and Clint Newton (knee) who are both close to returning to fulltime training after undergoing surgery.
“We are pretty healthy at the moment and apart from the players who represented in the Four Nations, the squad has undergone a full pre-season,” he added.
“They’ve got some work behind them already which is good and is generally a good stepping stone towards a good season.”