Set for Sevens

PRE-SEASON training is never something many footy players look forward to.

But throw a heatwave into the mix and Queanbeyan Whites forward Tom Greg Darmody admits the club’s preparations for this weekend’s Queanbeyan Sevens have been particularly tough.

The Whites will take to the field for the first time this year at the club’s annual Sevens tournament on Saturday.

The Sevens will kick-start the club’s pre-season campaign which will also include the Cowra 10s and trials against Central West and the Tuggeranong Vikings in the coming weeks.

A shortened John I Dent Cup season this year has placed extra emphasis on the Whites’ pre-season preparations.

This year’s competition has been reduced from 19 rounds to 14 in order to accommodate the new National Rugby Championships.

But Darmody said the suffocating conditions that have blanketed the region in recent weeks, often seeing temperatures hovering in the mid-30s until well into the evening, had added another dimension to the traditional pre-season slog.

“When you’re turning up to training at it’s still 32 degrees and you’re dealing with that kind of heat as well as a lack of fitness at the start of the year, it’s definitely been tough for me,” he said.

“I’m sure a lot of the other boys have been feeling it as well. It’s just not what you’re used to. But it does help you burn off all the Christmas weight you’ve put on.

“I know a lot of the boys have been keen to get into the gym and doing as much as possible but in terms of cardio and fitness…there’s quite a few of us with a bit of catching up to do.

“But I think that if you can adapt to it and push through, it will mean you’re a lot better off come the start of the season.”

This year’s shortened John I Dent Cup campaign, meanwhile, could bode ill for the Whites after the club relied on a stunning late-season resurgence to storm into last season’s finals.

 “We can’t afford to have a late run like we did last year,” Darmody acknowledged. “It’s definitely not the year to be starting from the back and bringing our best games as the end of the season.

“If we find ourselves in a similar situation to last year, there just aren’t going to be enough games to get back into it.”

The Queanbeyan Sevens will be held at Taylor Park and Seiffert Oval this Saturday, February 8.

The Queanbeyan Sevens will be held at Taylor Park and Seiffert Oval this Saturday, February 8.

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