There’s nothing too unusual about the NSW Waratahs spending the pre-season pounding the pavements and running up hills until they drop.
Except that the coaches are slaving away too.
It’s all part of new coach Daryl Gibson’s “all in” culture as the former All Black strives to have the Waratahs as the best prepared team in Super Rugby in 2016.
“Daryl’s been very strong from the outset in terms of everyone is pushing for the same goal,” assistant coach Nathan Grey said after catching his breath following a series of lung-busting climbs in the hills surrounding Sydney’s Alan Davidson Oval.
“Everyone’s working together; we’ve got a new group, guys are working hard and you’ve got to learn through that.
“The pre-season has been very much a part of that.”
Grey said the coaches participating in the Waratahs’ taxing sessions galvanised the squad.
“It’s just good to get out and have a trot with the guys and they see you working hard as well,” he said.
“You certainly don’t work as hard as they do but you get a little bit of an appreciation of how hard they’re working.
“It’s part of what we do.”
In a surefire sign the Waratahs are intent on winning back the title they relinquished to the Highlanders this year, even some of their Wallabies have cut short their annual leave following World Cup duties to join the squad during the intense workouts.
Grey said new kicking coach Chris Malone and forwards coach Cameron Blades had also integrated well with the squad.
“We’re looking to get that dynamic working really well and making sure that the Waratahs are going to be the best prepared team in Super Rugby,” the defensive coach said, adding that he was excited about bringing his World Cup experiences to the Tahs in 2016.
“I learnt a lot. It was an exciting time for me to be a part of the squad and part of the coaching team,” Grey said.
“We learnt a lot from a coaching perspective and about other things to improve on so I’m really excited about trying out a few things around Super rugby and how we can improve, one, individually and, two, as a collective and how we do things on different parts of the field.”