By Nathan Beuman
St George Illawarra Dragons prop Jack de Belin is pleased he has been able to overcome an obstacle-laden pre-season.
The Cootamundra Bulldogs junior was forced to overcome an ankle injury and a stomach virus which curtailed six-weeks from his respective pre-season conditioning program.
Furthermore, de Belin, 23, was limited to only the one pre-season fixture which was the 18-12 win over the Warrington Wolves in the World Club Series at The Halliwell Jones Stadium, Warringon.
De Belin’s performance during the international match did not reflect such negatives he has had to endure these past two months and showed he will definitely be in contention to face the Melbourne Storm at Jubilee Oval, Kogarah
While the former Dragons NYC graduate admits that he was sceptical how he would perform in England, he said that it was a relief to finally get back on the park.
“I was a bit worried and a little bit sceptical that I may have been behind the eight ball a little bit, but I had a couple of conditioning sessions over in England and got up to speed pretty quickly,” said de Belin.
“I was pretty happy overall. I wasn’t too far behind the eight ball at all.
“For McGregor to have the confidence in me to take me over there and play me some sufficient minutes, I was very happy.
“It’s good knowing that Mary has a lot of trust and faith in me and the favour is returned on my half.
“I missed out on pretty much six weeks of no training.
“I did my ankle for four weeks and then I was in hospital for a week there as well which was a little bit rough, so I was happy to get out there on the weekend.
“Whatever my role is, whatever McGregor has me doing, I’ll be doing it to be the best of my ability and just be happy being out there.
“We have definitely come a long way with our defence and our willingness to try and put some big hits on as well.
“It was good seeing our forward pack muscle up to a pretty large Warrington pack.”