Soward: Fresh And Ready To Go
Thursday 20 December 2012 10:00 AM
St George Illawarra Dragons five-eighth Jamie Soward is adamant that he is fighting fit and feeling the healthiest he has been in years.
The Wagga junior believes missing out on the Finals last campaign proved a blessing for his rehabilitation, allowing the player to undergo minor ankle surgery in the ensuing off-season.
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Soward, 28, is currently weighing under 90kgs and admits the loss in weight will benefit him on the field next year and if selected for the NRL Indigenous All-Stars fixture on Friday, February 9.
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“This has probably been my best pre-season for a while now and I think missing out on the finals helped me give me time to sort myself out,” said Soward.
“This is the lightest I’ve been for a while and that’s been down to the hard work with the training staff.
“It’ been one of the longer pre-seasons in recent years and definitely been tough at times but we’ve all kind of pushed through it all really well.
“It’s time now for us to get away and freshen up for the start of next year.
“It’s an important year ahead for all of us and we’ve trained really hard so hopefully we don’t relax too much and come back refreshed.
“It’s been a pretty productive pre-season for me and I’m hoping to get a few votes for the Indigenous All-Stars team so that I can get back into the team.
“It’s such a good week promoting the game and a great one to be a part of at that so hopefully it works out.”
Head Coach Steve Price has yet to determine his halves combination for next season following the retirement of halfback Ben Hornby but there are several players in contention.
Dragons utility Nathan Fien is versed in the pivot role as is new recruit Josh Drinkwater, two players Soward has endorsed as reliable successors.
“I’ve been working closely with both Fien and Drinkwater who is going to be a good talent moving forward,” said Soward.
“We’ve been working on our groups and things of that nature and will continue to do so in the new year.
“None of the halves are settled at the moment so it will be up to the coach to decide and it will be down to who is ready at the time.
“I’ve put my hand up to stay at six with Fien at seven and we’ve worked well together in the past with experience so that might be a possible combination.
“Drinkwater is ripping into the pre-season and getting a full set of weights conditioning under his belt and everyone is getting well with him.
“We see the talent that he has there and he’ll get his chances during the trials I’m sure to keep the pressure on the older blokes.”