Week three of pre-season training at the nib Newcastle Knights is nearly complete, and Physical Performance Manager Tony Ayoub spoke to Knights TV about player progress, new recruits and injuries.
Ayoub said players are tracking so well, coaching staff have accelerated the schedule.
“They're going better than I thought at this stage of the year and they are ahead of where we thought they would be,” said Ayoub.
“We've actually brought everything forward a couple of weeks and each week we continue to reassess on what our stats tell us and we’re going to up the ante next week.
“Everyone is working really hard.”
New recruits performing
Aidan Guerra and Kalyn Ponga arrived on Monday and are being phased into training gradually.
“They had a couple of extra weeks off but we will phase them in,” said Ayoub.
“Next week they will get a taste of what the boys have been doing.
“Kalyn and Aidan have run tremendously well, their times for testing have put them right up there so the extra weeks off hasn't seemed to have affected them.”
Ayoub reveals newcomers Jacob Lillyman and Connor Watson have also integrated with the squad nicely.
“Connor is an out there sort of kid and has fitted in really well while Jacob is a little bit older and a bit more reserved,” he explained.
“It has been fantastic the way the boys have integrated and fallen into place.”
Set to officially start pre-season training next week, Tautau Moga has got an early mark on his start with the Club.
“He doesn’t start until next week and he said he wanted to come in and do some training early,” Ayoub added.
After should stabilisation surgery, Moga will be doing rehabilitation before getting back to full training.
“He is six weeks out ofsurgery and he’s raring to go and is asking us what he can and can’t do,” Ayoub stated.
“Mitch (Barnett) and Daniel (Saifiti) are also rehabilitating (from shoulder reconstructions) and there is not a lot they can do but they’ve been fantastic.
“They have been doing a lot of running and it's been a tough three weeks for them.
“Hopefully with another couple of weeks under our belt, we will see them phase into some skills with the boys.
“Meanwhile we get Jack Johns back next week who had a fractured arm and had a plate put in and Dylan Phythian is 14 weeks down the track after his ACL and is going along tremendously and working really hard.”