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As preparations continue for season 2016, Wests Tigers will spend time this week in a pre-season training camp at Port Stephens on the North Coast.

The camp — which runs for four days and will feature plenty of high-intensity training and conditioning — is similar to the squad’s training camp in Wollongong last year and was planned well before pre-season training began earlier this month.

Wests Tigers Head of Physical Performance Marcus Kain said that the camp was a crucial part of pre-season training, both in terms of conditioning and team bonding.

“Camp is a really key time for us and it’s something to look forward to,” he said.

“It’s a good time to physically push the boys, but also to grow as a team. The time away will help the boys really develop who they are and what we are as a team.

“Last year we went South down to Wollongong; this year we’re going North up to Port Stephens. The facilities there are excellent and they’ll really suit what we need,” said Kain. “The periodised program is at a different stage to what it was last year, so the camp will be much tougher for the players than they might have experienced previously.

“The players are handling the training loads much better than they were this time last year, which is pleasing for us as a coaching staff to see them respond in that way.

“We’ll be flogging them a bit, but it’ll be in a smart way. We still need to manage them well and make sure that this fits in with our entire pre-season program.

Kain also confirmed that every player in the top squad will be present, including young hooker Manaia Cherrington, who will interrupt his holidays to be on the camp, having been involved in the New Zealand Kiwis’ recent England tour.

“Every player in the top squad will be there,” he said. “That’s why this is so important.

“It’s a great chance for us to grow and build something well together, and assess where the playing group is at, both physically and mentally, a month into pre-season.”

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