Bulls back on the paddock

The sun was beating down on a hot and humid Jarrah Oval on Tuesday afternoon, but it didn’t stop the Tumut Bulls from officially kicking off their 2022 pre-season.

A good group of players, highlighted by plenty of familiar names and a splattering of new faces, dug deep for first-grade skipper, TJ Sala, who took the players through their paces. 

Bulls coach Ray Wells was pleased to see a good turnout for the club’s first official session of the preseason.

“It’s definitely a good start, and it’s good because I can see who’s there and we can build on last year,” Wells said. 

The Tumut coach turned up late in the Bulls 2021 preseason, and he hoped an early start and good numbers would have the club in good stead as they prepare for the 2022 Southern Inland Rugby Union season. 

“Once again, we have to start right from the beginning, but we should be able to move a lot quicker because a lot of the hard work was done last year and they understand what is required,” Wells said. 

“If we want to start better than we did last season, we need to start early and can’t expect to just walk on in and think it’s going to be same old, same old.”

Competition for spots will likely highlight the Bulls preseason, and Wells said it was now on his players to make sure they were committed to training and the Bulls endeavour to lift the SIRU trophy.

“We have some new players coming into the club, and I have a few different playing philosophies I am going to introduce,” Wells said. 

“Unless players are there, they are going to be behind, and they are going to have to work harder to catch up instead of gradually progressing through the preseason.”

Wells admitted training would be tough at times, but he stressed the importance of building a strong base.

“That’s the thing; everyone is dead-scared they are going to get flogged,” Wells laughed. 

“Yes – it will be hard if you have done absolutely nothing before Christmas, but it’s preseason; it’s meant to be hard.

“But if you keep shying away from training, then all of a sudden its March, and when we start looking at players and combinations, it will be harder to pick players who haven’t fronted.”

While there is nothing official to announce yet, the Bulls are expected to unveil new signings as early as next week, with a handful of new potential recruits in negotiations with the club. 

For the time being, pre-season will continue at Jarrah Oval on Tuesday and Thursday evenings at 6.30pm, and the Bulls family are encouraging players of all experience levels to come along to get involved in first-grade, second-grade and women’s rugby.