New Zealand Warriors players are ready to see the back of a punishing pre-season training schedule and start the new season, according to coach Ivan Cleary.
Speaking ahead of the Warriors first trial match against Sydney on Saturday, Cleary said that preparations had been the most demanding he has ever seen.
“It’s been a really long off-season for the players and, to be honest, they’re over training. They’ve had enough of it,” he said.
“They’ve been nervous this week and just want to get on with playing some football.”
Cleary said the programme was intentionally the toughest he’d been involved with, which was backed up by new recruit Brett Seymour.
“The players have said it’s the most demanding off-season they’ve had and that’s the way we wanted it to be,” added Cleary.
Cleary revealed that Seymour will be involved against the Roosters as will off-season signings Jeremy Latimore and James Maloney, exciting prospects Elijah Taylor and Shaun Johnson and new Kiwis Ben Matulino and Kevin Locke.
The remainder of the squad will be named at a later stage.
Meanwhile, the Roosters have named experienced full-back Anthony Minichiello as skipper for Saturday’s clash.
Roosters team to play the Warriors at Rotorua on Saturday:
Anthony Minichiello (c) Sam Perrett, Shaun Kenny-Dowall, Ben Jones, Steve Naughton; Jonathan Ford, Mitchell Pearce; Frank-Paul Nuuausala, James Aubusson, Daniel Conn; Aiden Guerra, Anthony Cherrington; Tinirau Arona. Interchange: Liam Foran, Sonny Tuigamala, Kane Linnett, Joseph Leilua, Mose Masoe, Martin Kennedy, Brad Takairangi, Boyd Cordoner, Daniel Fepuleai.