Almost every Toyota Cowboy surpassed their off-season fitness target when the 2015 NRL squad returned to training for day one of a new pre-season this morning.
With new coaching staff members Jason Demetriou and Todd Payten among those looking on at the Cowboys HQ training field, it was Gavin Cooper (forwards) and Lachlan Coote (backs/hookers) who led the way, winning their respective 1200m running challenges well inside their target times.
Day one’s schedule also included skinfold tests and movement drills to gauge each player’s fitness after almost two months away from the playing field.
When the 2014 season ended in September, they were all given standards to hit on their return to ensure they wouldn’t have to do too much “catch up” at the start of pre-season.
The only Cowboys not at headquarters today were the club’s three Four Nations representatives – Jason Taumalolo, Tautau Moga and Antonio Winterstein – and Prime Minister’s XIII representative Michael Morgan.
They are due back over the next few weeks with Taumalolo, who plays for New Zealand against Australia in Wellington on Saturday, to be the last to return just after Christmas-New Year.
Co-captains Matt Scott and Johnathan Thurston remain on the rehab list with shoulder injuries and did not have to complete today’s drills.