WESTS Greater Northern Academy players battled the heat and the expectations of coaches at Saturday’s testing day at Farrer High School.
It was a rude awakening for the youngsters in their first gathering for the summer but some rose above the conditions to impress the coaching staff.
“Our big front-rowers really worked hard through all the testing,” GNA head coach Peter Stevens said.
“Overall it was a pretty good effort but, if we want to compete in our games after Christmas, some kids have some work to do on strength and fitness.”
In the core strength tests, the likes of Werris Creek local Zach Leonard and Boggabri’s Tyler Fleming were among the better performers on their home turf at Farrer.
Of the bigger blokes, Stevens said Drew Brown was one of the standouts, but possibly the best newly-inducted forward overall was Jake Collison.
The yo-yo test was left till last and, once again, Glen Innes’s Jay Gallagher was the standout, which was a good effort for a second- rower.
The best newcomer was Gunnedah product and another Farrer player, Calum Hayne.
Stevens also made special mention of hooker Beau Dixon from Muswellbrook for his efforts.
The good news for the players is that the testing is over, but it comes with a warning.
For the first time, the coaches plan to keep testing the players throughout the summer.
“They’ve got three weeks until our camp and hopefully some of them will start working on their fitness,” Stevens said.
“They will each get a program of what to do.
“At the end of every session we’re going to test them to see who is doing the work, so we’ll find them out.”
Stevens said if the players want to show NRL scouts that they have what it takes they have to put in the work and be ready for the games at the end of the summer where their talents will be on show.