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Now is the best time to work at it | Sam Verrills

To conclude a busy first week of pre-season training, Sam Verrills sat down for a Q&A to discuss a range of topics from pre-season to his maiden season in the NRL.

Enjoy the full chat below!

Queenstown last week, a good way to kick off the pre-season?

Yeah it was tough. We did drills that you dread while you’re doing it, but you feel good afterwards.

It’s a good way to start the year off, especially for us young boys getting in there and working hard together.  

It’s really rewarding.

Nathan's first challenge with the Roosters squad, an army camp in Queenstown.
Nathan's first challenge with the Roosters squad, an army camp in Queenstown.

Do you feel like you were able to teach some guys a few tricks seeing as you’ve done a pre-season before?

I mean not really, this is only my second pre-season.

I don’t feel like I’m a leader as of yet.

In terms of first grade games I’d say I have a bit of experience, but at the moment we’re all juniors and we’re all leaders.

We’re all here for the same reason, to work hard and get better.

Was it a good time to do some tough training together that didn’t involve football?

The thing about this camp was that it was really challenging, physically and mentally.

The way you start the year sets the platform and I think that we definitely kicked off the right way.

It’s also good to work on that bond, and Queenstown is great too.

First week back at the Club, how’s it been so far?

It’s been good!

Did a bit of testing, gym work’s been good.

I’m a bit sore at the moment, but that’s the usual.

I’m happy at the moment and I’m ready to rip in for the next few weeks.

It’s going to be a big year.

You had such a big year in 2019, at what point do you put that behind you and put all your energy into the new season?

Obviously you have to reflect on what you achieved.

2019 was a special year to debut for this Club, and everything that happened I never thought ever would.

To play in a Grand Final and to do it with the boys that I did it with, it’s something special.

You have to celebrate what you achieve and you do think about it, but you’ve got to focus on next year.

I want to have a big pre-season and that’s the main focus right now.

Tell us about your off-season, what did you get up to?

I went to Japan and Bali.

I spent some time in Melbourne with a few of the Roosters boys.

I didn’t do too much training, so it’s good to get back in here and start feeling fit again.

You’ve come back looking pretty fit, did you get some work in while you were away?

I got some running in, but not too much.

I didn’t want to burn out the legs too quickly.

I feel good at the moment and I’m really eager for pre-season.

Do you feel comfortable being here this time of year?

It’s pretty different to last year.

This time last year I was pretty nervous and I didn’t know anyone

Coming in now after playing some first grade, I feel much more comfortable.

You still work as hard as you did in your first year, maybe harder.

On top of that I know most of these boys, so it’s good to see all of them and hear what they’ve been up to.

I think I’m just happy to be back to be honest.

One of the guys you probably don’t know so well would be Kyle Flanagan, how has he been in the first two weeks?

He’s been good and he’s fitting in really well.

I was his roomie in Queenstown, so I got to know him early on.

He’s a really good bloke, he’s got good knowledge of the game and I can’t wait to play footy with him next year.

Only a few weeks of solid training before the break, what’s the plan for you?

Get the reps in, get the legs moving and get some k’s in them.

This first block of pre-season we just want to hammer those little things and get them right.

When we come back next year, everything gets serious so now is the best time to get fit.

Up-and-coming Roosters 2020

We put a poll on the website this week to ask our fans which young squad member they most want to see in 2020 and you won it. How does it feel that the fans have gotten behind you in such a short space of time?

It’s been amazing.

The fans are great here and you feel that every time you play for this Club.

To hear that is pretty special to me.

There’s a lot of young guys who are going to have a big year, so to hear that they think that about me is really amazing and I say thank you.

Now I have to perform well at training and aim for bigger and better next year.

Sam Verrills moments after the Roosters won the 2019 NRL Grand Final.
Sam Verrills moments after the Roosters won the 2019 NRL Grand Final.

We spoke to you this time last year and you said that it was hard work that would get you there, and it did. Do you feel like it’s the same case this year?

I believe that now is the best time to really work at it.

Pre-season is tough and it’s a grind, but if you get all your reps done and you work hard it pays off when you start playing games and in the back-end of the year.

You’ve really got to focus hard on your training and how you’re sleeping now, then come next year when the big games come along you feel prepared for that.

It’s going to be a big pre-season.

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