Leeds Rhinos Head of Athletic Performance Jason Davidson says he is confident the players are in the right shape to begin another assault on the World and Super League titles.
Davidson has taken the team out to Portugal for their final preparations for the season with a warm weather training camp but admits that the focus this week will be on the field rather than the gym as the team fine tune their preparations for another tough season.
Speaking from the training base, he commented, "The aim of the camp is to get all the players together before a tough, long season and get plenty of field sessions, with the weather as forecast at home, it has worked out to be a really good time to come over."
The Rhinos have brought their largest ever group for pre-season training with 29 players in total heading on camp. Davidson says that will be of benefit for the goals the team hope to gain from the week, he added, "When you go into camp, you are getting ready for the up and coming season, you need two teams to play against each other to test out what you have been doing in pre-season. We have looked at the young guys who have been training with us all pre-season and they deserve to come out here. If we can have 13 v 13 in training it will be beneficial this close to the season.
"The best thing with this group is that we have blended really well, the young and old players are pushing each other. Jordan Baldwinson and Liam Sutcliffe have made some good gains in the off season and I will be interested to see how they play when we get back. They, along with Josh Sunley and Elliot Minchella, are on the AASE scheme which allows them to train four times a week with the first team on top of what they do with the Under 19s and go to college and they have really benefitted from that," added Davidson.
Looking back on pre-season as a whole, Davidson is happy with the progress that has been made. He added, "I am very pleased with how pre-season has gone, we have done everything that we have needed to do and everyone is ready to go. Over the next fortnight, we are looking to fine tune things so the camp is not about fitness but more to do with the on the field things."
Leeds Rhinos have had mixed news on the injury front with both Kallum Watkins and Kevin Sinfield hopefully able to return ahead of schedule but young prop Brad Singleton is battling to recover from a dead leg ahead of Sunday's trip to the Giants.
Official Partner of Super League BRUT for Men is on the hunt for the Leeds Rhinos Fan of Pride - someone who is a huge Rhinos supporter and is committed to the sport in their local community. Fans have until midnight on 25th June to make their nominations at www.brutformen.co.uk/superleague.
Former Leeds Rhinos stars Scott Donald and Robbie Mears could be back at Headingley Carnegie this July after being named in the Australian Police squad to travel to the UK for the Rugby League Festival of World Cups.
Fresh from leading Stanningley U16s to national title glory last weekend, Leeds Rhinos Academy coach Mark Lilley will this weekend swap the rugby ball for the saddle as he takes part in a fundraising effort for Joining Jack.