The Sydney Roosters have arrived in France as they continue to prepare for the upcoming World Club Challenge clash with the Wigan Warriors at DW Stadium.
Upon arriving to the city of Paris, Assistant Coach Craig Fitzgibbon spoke to us about the trip and what the squad can expect during an exciting but challenging week ahead.
“Everyone’s really excited,” Fitzgibbon said of the squad morale.
“We’ve been looking forward to it for a while now and we worked really hard in the weeks leading up to this.
“While we’re changing our climate and environment, we’re thrilled that such a big fixture is going to be our first hit out of the year.”
This isn’t the first time that the Roosters have prepared away from home this pre-season, with the squad taking a third straight pre-season camp to Queenstown, New Zealand a few weeks ago.
While in the past these camps have been a combination of football and army style training, this time around it was purely about the football.
“We went to Queenstown purely to work on some footy stuff, get our combinations back together and knuckle down on some of the stuff we need to finalise before we get into the action of regular season footy.
“We love going there, we got some solid training done and spent some quality time together.
“It’s important to strengthen those relationships off the field as well.”
After his praise of the football camp in Queenstown, he gave us a rundown of what the squad can expect during their time in France.
“Obviously we’re in France now where we’ll do some training.
“We’ll do an opposed session against Trent’s (Robinson) former team Toulouse, which will be a good and tough session for us.
“We’ll get the opportunity to train at some pretty prestigious and different training facilities around Paris, which will be an excellent opportunity for these guys.
“We’ve got some guys that have never been over to this part of the world, so a good chance to get some training done and appreciate some history.
“After that we’re off to Manchester to do some more quality training.”
In the days leading up to the World Club Challenge, the Roosters will get the opportunity to train with the St Helens Saints, who are coached by former Roosters Assistant Coach Justin Holbrook.
While this will be another solid hit-out for the squad, it’s also a valuable opposed session to get used to the Super League style of football.
“Having the opportunity to train against St Helens will be really valuable, especially with Justin at the helm there.
“It’s good for us, but they’re also a really quality team with some top Super League talent.
“We always enjoy opposed sessions against a different style of footy and it’s important for our preparations as well.”
While the week has plenty of surprises and exciting events on offer, Fitzgibbon says that it’s important to keep our eyes on the main goal while still enjoying the week ahead.
“At the end of the day, it’s about preparing to play Roosters footy.
“We want to make sure the first hit-out shows our style, but we’ve also got to enjoy the experience.
“The game will be great, but so will the trip so we’ve got to make sure that we do take that time and enjoy it.”
When asked if he feels that the squad is prepared, it was a simple and effective answer from the Assistant Coach.
“We’ve worked hard, trained hard and prepared well.
“It’s our first hit-out, but we’re here to win the game.
“We’ll put our best performance in to do that.”