The NRL pre-season isn’t necessarily kind to anyone, but when it comes to Captain Jake Friend’s approach to it, the big picture is what’s most important.

To start the second week of training, the squad were given the ultimate fitness test, when the forwards and backs were split into two groups to sweat it out in the Yo-Yo test.

The test is designed to monitor endurance and is definitely a taxing exercise in the warm weather.

Friend was the last man standing out of the forwards, showing his unwavering motivation and motor.

“Everything is tough at this time of year, but when you’ve done this a few times you learn that this is just the beginning of a long season that hasn’t even started yet,” said the Captain.

“It’s important to have a break from the game and the pressure, but it’s always playing at the back of your mind a bit, which makes it easier to not let yourself go completely,” he added.

A close second to the Captain in the test was up-and-coming dummy-half Joey Lussick, who kept up with Friend right until the end.

“He’s a great talent that has a big career ahead of him,”said Friend of Lussick.

When asked how beneficial a good pre-season is, the answer was almost too easy.

“It’s very important.

“We’ve got a big job ahead of us, and if we keep working hard like we are now, I’m confident that we’ll compete hard and have a strong year.”

To watch some highlights from the Yo-Yo test, Click Here