St George Illawarra Dragons halfback Benji Marshall has observed how certain factors have led to a “fresh” training environment thus far this pre-season.

Marshall attributes a combination of improved training facilities coupled with several new coaching staff appointments to the positive atmosphere surrounding pre-season to date.

The Dragons have just instigated their second phase of pre-season training after completing an initial eight-week block which saw no series injuries to the squad.

“It’s been a tough pre-season to date but with the inclusion of our new training staff it has really helped freshen up the place,” said Marshall.

“Everyone is very fit at the moment and we have been lucky not to have any really serious injuries occur during the pre-season.

“Getting a pre-season under my belt and getting to know everyone a bit better and building combinations

“As a club there’s a lot to look forward to this year and anything short of the semi-finals for us will be unacceptable.

“It’s every team’s goal to win the competition and we’ve changed up a few things including our structures and some coaching staff to try and accommodate that aspiration.”