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Rabbitohs Media sat down with South Sydney Rabbitohs Head Strength and Conditioning Coach, Harry Harris, to take a look back over the 2016 season.
At the start of the year, the Rabbitohs started off on the back foot with players Zane Musgrove (wrist), Angus Crichton (Groin) and George Burgess (hip) to name a few, all undergoing preseason surgeries. Harris explains that the constant uphill battle with injuries has been a challenge for the club.
“It was an uphill battle to be honest with you because not only were they late at coming back (due to surgery) but they had to catch up so we started the season probably a little bit undone,” said Harris.
“This whole season we’ve never actually fielded our whole strongest team once. The start of the season we had suspensions, then we got injuries, like Adam Reynolds and John Sutton. All clubs get injuries but we had a consistent uphill battle with injuries.
Despite the injuries, Harris, viewing from the sideline, has seen a strong bond form among the players throughout the year and believes they are in the right mindset going into the 2017 season.
“I must admit the whole year the boys have been fantastic, their resilience has been great, they’ve faced adversity and conquered it and I believe this season, even though for the fans it’s disappointing for them, have actually built a lot of camaraderie from the losses and the boys have become a bit closer.
“This last little bit here is a springboard for 2017/18 and I think everything is onwards and upwards.
“The boys are terrific, they are a great bunch of boys and they’ve really put in. I’ve seen these performances coming for the last 6-8 weeks, it’s not a coincidence to me.
With the recent signings of five new players to the club, Harris describes the process they will face in the strength and conditioning area.
“We have some standards that we will give them and they‘ve got to come back with those standards regarding their body weight, skin folds, their strength, fitness and speed.
“I’m really excited about next year, really excited.”