It is a process that takes its due course, but a name that everyone will recognise as one of the club’s most influential players, one Ruben Wiki – has joined the New Zealand Warriors as their new Strength and Conditioning coach by head Strength and Conditioning coach, Carl Jennings.
Wiki, who played in 312 NRL games and 55 test matches, enjoyed part-time roles with the club in the past, but he now has a full-time role – with the Otara-based Wiki looking forward to the challenges of the role that lie ahead.
â€œIâ€™m so excited about being back here. I love this place and being involved with the players like this is my passion,â€ he said.
â€œI canâ€™t thank the NZRL enough for the opportunity I had with them. Iâ€™ve learnt so much from my time with them but now Iâ€™m ready to get into working with my club again and doing all I can to help us be as good as we can possibly be.
â€œIâ€™m really looking to working with Matt (Elliott) again and also Carl. We go back to the Canberra days.â€
Wiki and Elliott are no strangers to each other, either, with the two on the same side as player and coach from 2001-2004, at the Canberra Raiders – as Matt Elliott looks forward to working with Wiki again.
â€œIâ€™m delighted to be working with Ruben again,â€ said Elliott.
â€œAs a person, he models the culture we want to develop at the Vodafone Warriors.
â€œWhat he offers as a person sits alongside the skill set he brings with him for this job. First and foremost, thereâ€™s his obvious wealth of experience as player at the highest level and since retiring, he has also become a skilled practitioner in the strength and conditioning field. He has the whole package.â€
Wiki is not the only new addition to the Warriors training squad, as Brad Morris joins the club as a Sports Science Manager, Dayne Norton as the Speed and Rehab coach, Adam Sadler as a Performance Analyst.
â€œOur training staff will be involved across the club from our NRL team through to the NYC team and the development squad as well as the Vulcans (in the New South Wales Cup),â€ said Jennings.
â€œWe will be taking an integrated approach to all we do, adopting a whole of club mentality.â€
Morris, an Australian-born, will not only be Sports Science Manager, but he will add value to the Warriors defence as their new wrestling coach – as he brings both Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) and Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) experience.
Having been involved in the NRL for the last 3 seasons, first at Penrith in 2010 and 2011, before spending 2012 at the Sydney Roosters – Elliott is looking forward to having Morris involved once more.
â€œBrad will specialise in the research and application of the latest, best-practice training and recovery methods,â€ said Elliott.
â€œHeâ€™ll also ensure weâ€™re abreast of all the latest international trends in the sports science field.â€
Norton, the new Speed and Rehab coach, brings a wealth of experience to the table, having been involved in all of New Zealand’s recent, major international glory.
â€œThe rehab and speed role will allow Dayne to develop our players in speed and agility as well as getting injured players game-ready,â€ said Elliott.
â€œHeâ€™ll liaise with the medical staff and trainers in a role that was identified as a gap in our system following the in-season and post-season review completed recently. Dayneâ€™s expertise in speed and agility training has been largely untapped ,but itâ€™s an important resource for the whole club.â€
Finally, on Sadler, when Jennings joined from the Crusaders like Head Strength and Conditioning Coach Carl Jennings did, he brought a wealth of experience with him.
â€œAdam will collate training footage as well as GPS, heart rate and other data as a training and game-day resource for coaches, trainers and players,â€ said Elliott.
Dean Bell, who is the Warriors General Manager of Football Operations, said that the implementation of new roles and positions at the club was a key one moving forward.
â€œThis is a key outcome of the plans announced in July when (owners) Owen Glenn and Eric Watson committed to a substantial investment in personnel, sports science and other resources for our football department,â€ he said.
â€œThis is a critical start and it points us in the right direction as we strive for best-practice in our football operation.â€