He may be embarking on his 15th pre-season in the NRL but iSelect Titans workhorse Luke Bailey says he’s feeling as hungry as ever heading into the 2014 season.
Bailey, who turned 34 last Sunday, has been among the leaders of the pack in fitness drills since the Titans’ return to pre-season training for 2014 earlier this week.
The hardworking front rower had been hindered by ankle surgery when the pre-season first started in November but he says two months of training in the altitude chamber at Titans HQ prior to the Christmas break has brought him up to speed with the rest of the pack.
“I’m back doing full training, contact included and the body is good,’’ said Bailey after this morning's field session.
“It’s probably been a blessing in disguise not doing a full pre-season with the boys (on the field), I’m fresh in the legs and don’t feel like I’ve missed out on too much.
“I’m just enjoying my training and I’m pretty happy I’m keeping up with the boys.
“I wouldn’t be playing on at 34 if I thought my body was in need of a big rest. I think it’s still pretty fresh and I’m still hungry mentally so it should be a good year.’’
Bailey said he was setting his sights on being fully fit for the club’s first pre-season trial match against the New Zealand Warriors on Sunday, February 9 moreso than taking part in the inaugural Auckland Nines a week later.
“I don’t even think they (Titans coaching staff) are going to consider me actually, I think I might be a bit too old for the Nines,’’ he joked.
“It would be great to play but I can understand if I’m not picked in the starting 9.
“It (the Nines) is going to be a great spectacle …. But I think I’ll be good for the first trial against the Warriors.
“We’re all going together as a team, playing the trial and staying over there for the week.’’