The Wagga Kangaroos are the first team to officially recommence training for the 2020 Group 9 season, holding their first hit out at Wagga Cricket Ground on Tuesday.
Led by new captain/coach Hayden Ashcroft, the Roos had good numbers at the session, despite only giving players short notice.
“There would have been about 15 or 16 boys, we had a few missing that had work commitments but otherwise it was pretty good,” Ashcroft said.
Covid-19 social distancing and a return to training guideline would normally have a big impact on clubs but Ashcroft said it didn’t really change their approach.
“Funnily enough, it was similar to what we did in preseason, we did more functional stuff, with training in small groups,” Ashcroft said.
“It hasn’t changed much at all, obviously the president and committee members made sure we had protocol in place in, and they handed out sheets on what the responsibilities we had as players but it was pretty much business as usual.”
Ashcroft said the Roos were keen for a return to play and even touted his side as the team to beat, suggesting a shortened season would only benefit the Wagga club.
“Everybody is ready and keen to play, and jumping into training now makes us ready to return and might give us a little edge on other teams,” Ashcroft said.
“I don’t think we have the depth between our ones and twos like other clubs, but that shortened season should play into our hands, we are young and fit and it should suit us.
“I think we may turn some heads and surprise a few teams.”
In more good news for the Roos, Ryan Cronin will be on board for 2020, after the Wagga club had already been buoyed by the key signings of Eddie Lagaali, Matt Henery, Jake Macini and Craig Field.
“Ryan is obviously a quality player and he will bring a lot of depth to our side,” Ashcroft said.
“He is pretty versatile, he can play a few positions in back row and centres and someone like him is a great pick up for us.”