St George Illawarra Dragons winger Tom Carr admits he is embracing every obstacle that gets thrown his way this pre-season.
The local Helensburgh Tigers junior is in the midst of his maiden campaign with the first-grade squad after a banner campaign for the NYC which saw him score 17 tries from 12 appearances last season.
Carr, who is presently undertaking an electrical apprenticeship, confesses this first few days of the pre-season were intimidating not knowing what to expect but he now takes everything in his stride.
“It’s my first pre-season with any club so everything being thrown at me so far has been unexpected but training with an NRL team has been insane,” said Carr.
“The fitness component has been tough but I’ve definitely been improving as the weeks have progressed and I’m just trying to get amongst it all.
“The average pre-season schedule as it currently stands is five to six days a week comprising of conditioning for three of them as well as speed, drills and other skills for the remainder.
“I was actually a bit scared entering the pre-season being the younger player as I didn’t know what to expect and wasn’t quite sure who I would be training alongside.
“My dad was the person who told me I had been invited to train with the pre-season first-grade squad and at first I thought he was joking.
“I was like “I know that you’re lying” but it was a real shock when I found out he was telling the truth.
“I’ve learnt that we all have a pain barrier but it’s a matter of pushing through it if you want to compete with the very best and that’s what I’m trying to do.
“Pete Mata’utia in particular has taken me under his wing a bit every time we do a defence drill while Benji Marshall has been helping me when we are practicing attacking plays.
“If I do get a shot playing in any of the trials I would like to show-off what I’ve learnt so far this pre-season but I know that chance can only come with continued hard work.”