NRL pre-season diary of training returns


BRISBANE: Revenge begins Monday, November 9 for the beaten 2015 grand finalists with players returning in groups staggered over three weeks. Adam Blair, Alex Glenn, Jordan Kahu and Kodi Nikorima will all be absent, representing the Kiwis in England.

CANTERBURY: Minus captain James Graham and winger Curtis Rona who are away on internationale duty, the Bulldogs are back on Tuesday November 10. Both return in the new year, but the Bulldogs have an otherwise healthy squad for day one.

CANBERRA: Became the first team back for pre-season 2016, returning on October 26. Ricky Stuart has a history in this, forcing Parramatta to train through the finals in 2012 upon arriving at that club.

CRONULLA: Cronulla go back to work on November 9, with all players aside from Gerard Beale, who is touring England with the Kiwis, returning fit for the first day.

GOLD COAST: Neil Henry’s men returned on Monday, but the exciting halves combination of Kane Elgey and Ashley Taylor will have to wait a little longer to prosper. Taylor is on restricted duties following a hand operation in the off-season.

MANLY: New recruits Nate Myles, Darcy Lussick and Matt Parcell were at Manly’s first day of training on Monday, while fellow recruits Lewis Brown and Martin Taupau are unlikely to return until after Christmas after representing the Kiwis.

MELBOURNE: While the new guys came in for their induction on Monday, the majority of the squad will trickle in over the next month. A fully-fit Billy Slater returns from his shoulder surgery, while Jesse Bromwich, Tohu Harris and Kevin Proctor will be absent on Kiwi duty.

NEWCASTLE: New coach Nathan Brown gets the first proper look at his squad on Thursday, with the majority making their way back to training. Tariq Sims will be on a modified schedule after shoulder surgery.

NORTH QUEENSLAND: The NRL champions, coming off their admirable tour of North Queensland to show off the trophy, will be the last team to return to pre-season training, on November 30. Their top 17 remains unchanged and they have no major injuries or players on Test duty.

PARRAMATTA: The majority of the playing group return to training on Wednesday. Anthony Watmough and Nathan Peats were the biggest names to have late-season surgery and will be on tailored training programs.

PENRITH: Anthony Griffin’s first day on the job began on Monday coincided with Jamal Idris quitting the club. Most returned to training, but Dean Whare was absent on Kiwi representation and recruit Trent Merrin arrives on November 10.

ST GEORGE ILLAWARRA: The Red V are back on October 12, aside from Gareth Widdop and Jason Nightingale who remain on representative duties. The Dragons welcome a host of new players including Russell Packer and Kurt Mann.

SOUTH SYDNEY: The bulk of the senior playing group report for duty on Monday, November 9. Despite their late-season fade, the Rabbitohs have a healthy squad, with just Tom and George Burgess away representing England.

SYDNEY ROOSTERS: The Tri-colours will be back November 18. They’ll be without their Kiwi contingent of Isaac Liu, Sam Moa and Sio Siua Taukiaho for the majority of their first stage of training.

WARRIORS: The Kiwis tour to England means the Warriors have a more disrupted pre-season than most. Training kicked off on Monday but four players, including new star recruits Issac Luke and Roger Tuivasa-Sheck, won’t be back until after Christmas.

WESTS TIGERS: The Wests Tigers returned for 2015 on Monday morning but the problems that dogged 2015 remain. Jason Taylor was forced to answer a barrage of questions on the future of Robbie Farah and the possible signing of Matt Ballin.

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