Tur­bos pre­sea­son sched­ule shapes up

The Tribune (NZ) - - COMMUNITY COOKBOOK - SHAUN EADE

The Tur­bos’ pre­sea­son sched­ule will in­clude matches against Hawke’s Bay, Welling­ton and Tas­man in­clud­ing one in Feild­ing ahead of the national pro­vin­cial cham­pi­onship this year.

Manawatu coach Jeremy Cotter con­firmed the match-ups as he con­tin­ues the build-up in his first sea­son in charge of the team.

Cotter moved from as­sis­tant to head coach at the end of last sea­son to re­place Ja­son O’Hal­lo­ran, who took an as­sis­tant coach­ing job with Scot­land.

He is in the mid­dle of his sec­ond block of wider train­ing group ses­sions, which run two nights a week.

More than 50 play­ers are in­cluded, but he said they nor­mally have about 30 at each ses­sion due to work com­mit­ments and in­juries.

They will con­tinue for a cou­ple of weeks be­fore hav­ing a break to fo­cus on club rugby.

Cotter said a third wider train­ing group ses­sion would likely run with smaller num­bers later in the club sea­son.

That squad would work to­wards a game be­tween the Manawatu Ev­er­greens and the Hawke’s Bay Sara­cens in Palmer­ston North on June 29.

‘‘That will give us the chance to have a look at these guys who have been work­ing hard in the wider train­ing group,’’ he said.

But play­ers who miss out on that game could still be given chances to make the team through more wider train­ing group ses­sions.

Their of­fi­cial pre­sea­son starts with a game against Hawke’s Bay in Napier on July 30.

They then take on Welling­ton in Feild­ing on Au­gust 7, be­fore head­ing to a camp in Nel­son which ends with a game against Tas­man on Au­gust 12.

But first Cotter will be keep­ing a watch­ful eye over club games as he looks to fill out his squad.

Half­way through the Manawatu club com­pe­ti­tion, he said the stan­dard of play had been im­prov­ing.

‘‘One of the rea­sons that I was re­ally con­cerned about us go­ing for­ward into the Mitre 10 Cup was the play­ers’ seem­ing in­abil­ity to keep their feet at the break­down,’’ he said.

‘‘I think that it is im­prov­ing as play­ers get fit­ter and as they they get used to the style of play they are play­ing, the con­di­tions and the ref­er­ees as well.

Their sea­son kicks off proper against North­land in Whangarei on Au­gust 19.

Manawatu pre­sea­son sched­ule:

June 29 – Manawatu Ev­er­greens v Hawke’s Bay Sara­cens, Palmer­ston North July 30 – Manawatu v Hawke’s Bay, Napier Au­gust 7 – Manawatu v Welling­ton, Feild­ing Au­gust 12 – Manawatu v Tas­man, Nel­son

PHOTO: GETTY

The Tur­bos’ pre­sea­son sched­ule in­cludes a match against Welling­ton in Feild­ing.

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