Wests Tigers entire squad was on deck for training for the first time on Thursday morning, with Kevin Naiqama the final player to return from his break.
The 28-year-old had been on break following his commitments with Fiji at the 2017 Rugby League World Cup, where he captained the Bati to a thrilling upset win over New Zealand before going down to eventual tournament winners Australia in the semifinal stage of the competition.
One of the fittest and strongest players in the team, Naiqama showed no signs of rust as he hit the ground running today with a conditioning session before joining the full squad for regular training, which will ramp up over the next few days as the 2018 season draws nearer.
Wests Tigers players will continue high-frequency training for the next month, before playing two trial matches in February in preparation for the season opener against the Roosters on March 10.
Dates and opponents for the club's 2018 trial matches will be announced in the near future.
PLAYER PROFILE: KEVIN NAIQAMA
Pronunciation: Kevin Nan-gar-ma
Born: February 4, 1989 (Sydney, NSW, Australia)
Junior Club: Arncliffe Scots
Position: Wing, Centre, Fullback
Rep Honours: 12 Tests for Fiji (2013,15-17)
Previous Clubs: Penrith Panthers (2014), Newcastle Knights (2010-13)
First Grade Debut: Melbourne v Newcastle, AAMI Park, 05/09/2010 (Rd.26)
Club First Grade Debut: Wests Tigers v Gold Coast, Cbus Super Stadium, 07/03/2015 (Rd.1)
About Kevin Naiqama — Having captained Fiji to a memorable semifinal appearance at the recent 2017 World Cup, Kevin will be looking to produce another strong season at Wests Tigers after ending the season as the club’s leading try-scorer. Kevin played every position in the backline in 2017 — including on both sides of the field — and will likely play his 100th NRL game in 2018. Off the field, Naiqama is a devout Christian who is currently undertaking a carpentry apprentice in his spare time.