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Thread: Western Force take break before more hard pre-season slog in January

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    Western Force take break before more hard pre-season slog in January

    by: Michael Washbourne From: PerthNow December 22, 2011 12:46pm


    THE Western Force can expect pre-season training to go up another level in January as coach Richard Graham plots a maiden Super Rugby finals appearance for the Perth-based franchise.

    Force players have been put through an intense three-month training program in the lead-up to Christmas and Graham has warned them to brace for an even harder slog when they return.

    The Super Rugby season is only 64 days away, which has caught some pundits by surprise, not least the second-year Force coach.

    “I know when we started pre-season at the start of November it was only (going to be) three months long and by the time you give them a week off at the end of November and you give them the Christmas break, the season’s almost upon you,” Graham said.

    “We obviously take that into consideration when we plan, but at the same time every one else is in that situation and you just get on with it.

    “It’s been an enjoyable eight weeks. The boys have worked hard…the foundations are in place, but we’ve got a lot to work on in January.”

    Graham feels his squad is in good physical shape to challenge for that elusive finals berth.

    But it’s not the current pre-season slog that he believes has put his team in good stead ahead of the 2012 season.

    “Last year we had a really good physical preparation and I think that showed by only using 31 players, which was the lowest in Super Rugby,” Graham said.

    “I think that foundation of 12 months of really good physical preparation will be very good for us going into the season.”

    The Force will hold a camp in Margaret River in late January before take part in two trial games against the Brumbies in Darwin on February 4 and defending champions Queensland Reds in Perth on February 16.

    The season proper kicks off for the Force on February 24 against the Brumbies in Canberra. Four of the team’s first five matches are away from home.

    One player itching for the start of the season is No.8 Richard Brown, who recently returned to training after a three-month stint on the sidelines following surgery on both shoulders.

    “It’s been a long road, but I’m finally seeing the light at the end of the tunnel and I can’t wait to get back after Christmas,” Brown said.

    “I’m probably physically less injured than I’ve been for the past three years.”

    Force players will be required to undertake five sessions of individual training during their 10-day break away from the club over the Christmas-New Year period.

    http://www.perthnow.com.au/sport/rug...-1226228642956

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