In the first week back after the Christmas break, Knights TV checks in with some of the Newcastle Knights’ rookies who have taken on NRL training for the first time.
While dynamic NYC half Brock Lamb now has more than two months of fulltime NRL pre-season training under his belt, emerging talent Braden Robson has stepped up to his first week with the first grade players.
The challenging week kicked off with the beep test and mixed in conditioning drills on the field as well as demanding gym sessions.
18-year-old Lamb is pleased he’s becoming increasingly accustomed to the physicality of training with grown men.
“I’m getting better at it. It’s a big change coming up from the 20s,” Lamb said.
“My body is developing and I’m slowly getting there and feeling a lot more comfortable in defence and that type of stuff.”
An important part of the week’s schedule is the team’s video sessions where players review and refine their progress on the training track.
“I get a lot out of video sessions. We work on our defence, what we need to do and what we’re doing wrong,” he said.
“We’re constantly learning at the video sessions and take it into practice on the field.”
Reflecting on his development since the beginning of the pre-season more than two months ago, he detects plenty of positive change within himself.
“I’ve really switched on a lot more than I have in previous years. I’ve realised how professional this is and how serious it is.
“I’ve based my life around footy at the moment and it’s been really good for me.
“Physically, I’ve started to grow in my body and put on more weight."
The potential of being involved in the NRL trial period is something that pushes the Maitland Pickers junior to knuckle down.
“I’d love to have a trial with NRL, but I just have to keep training hard and see how it goes.”
Meanwhile, young talent Braden Robson launched into the unknown and completed his first week of fulltime training with the Knights this week.
“It’s a big step up from under 20s, which I’ve been in for the last couple of years,” Robson said.
“It’s more physical, they’re a lot bigger and stronger.
“The fitness also gives it to you, it’s a big step up.”
While the Bilambil Jets junior approached the week with a slight sense of trepidation, after making it through unscathed, he couldn’t be happy.
“I was kind of nervous but also excited for the journey and to be able to get up with the big boys,” he said.
“Doing it now, it’s worth it.
“It’s hard, but you see the benefits coming out of it.”
He’s particularly enjoying the fulltime training schedule and the fact he spends all day working with his teammates.
“Instead of going home after, or starting training late in the afternoon, we’re together all day, so you start to bond together which is good for me,” he added.
Star centre, Dane Gagai has already provided Robson with valuable inspiration and encouragement.
“We’re the same position and he helps me a lot through everything,” he said.
“If I’m lost in certain areas, he’ll point me in the right direction.”
The third year building apprentice says he hopes to increase his fitness and strength during his time with first grade to give him an advantage when he returns to the ranks of the NYC Knights for season 2016.