Max Altus is on a solo mission to ensure he is in “peak” physical condition for the biggest moment of his young life.
The Coonamble 18-year-old, who recently finished Year 12 at Farrer, has set himself a gruelling training schedule ahead of the Australian Schoolboys’ tour of England at the end of the year.
Training up to five days a week, the speedy rake has been pushing his body to the limit doing sprints, endurance runs and weights.
He has also made another appearance for NSW Country – beating Papua New Guinea 52-6 in an under-18 clash at Lismore on Tuesday night.
NSW Country play one more match, against the Gold Coast Titans’ under-18 side, in Cudgen on Saturday.
That will be Altus’s last game before the five-match tour of England, which includes two Tests against England.
I want to be able to perform pretty good, seeings how it’s for an Australian side.- Max Altus
The Aussie assemble in Redfern, Sydney, on November 17 for three days of training and then fly to England.
Altus said he was “doing all the little things to get in peak condition” – “trying to get stronger in your weaker areas”.
“I really enjoy it [training], so motivation is pretty good for me,” he said, adding that he had “high expectations” for the England tour, his debut in national colours.
“I want to come in there at my peak … I want to be able to perform pretty good, seeings how it’s for an Australian side,” he said.
Altus trained with the Newcastle Knights’ development squad last off-season, and he was hopeful the enhanced exposure at the nationals at Kingscliff in July would boost his chances of securing an NRL deal. That is yet to materialise.
“All that’s been pretty quiet at the moment – [I’m] just trying to get footy and that out of the way,” he added.
“[I’ll] keep playing my footy here and it will sort itself out … I’ve got my manager doing stuff, so he’ll sort it out for me.”
Along with securing a football contract, Altus wants to do a diesel mechanic apprenticeship. Achieving both goals would be “pretty handy”, he said.
Altus’s former Farrer teammate, Alek Hall, is also in the NSW Country under-18 side. Altus said Hall got plenty of game time against PNG on Tuesday.
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