Woods Graham Footy Talk Origin injuries Cleary

Woods Questions NSW Blues Training After Soft Tissue Injury Drama

As New South Wales scramble to find replacements for their injured stars, former Blues forward Aaron Woods has questioned NSW’s training program ahead of Origin I.

Latrell Mitchell (calf), Nathan Cleary (hamstring) and Cameron Murray (groin) have all suffered soft-tissue injuries since joining Blues camp two weeks ago in Coogee, which has Woods wondering if the NSW preparation could be a factor in the stars going down.  


“For me, something must be happening in the training in New South Wales because that’s three big ones and then you know Tommy (Trbojevic) has had the problems in the past with his hamstring – I was happy to see him come through unscathed,” Woods said on the Footy Talk podcast.

“But there must be doing something with the training loads because you look at how they’ve come out. They’re all soft tissue (injuries). They’re not they’re not impact injuries.

“So, are they doing something different from club level than when they go into these camps?

Woods continued: “The other one is if Latrell doesn’t pull out, does he twinge his calf even more?

“I’m not pointing the finger. I’m asking what what’s happening. Why are we getting soft tissues?”

The injuries could not come at a worse time for the Blues, who must win Origin II in Queensland to keep the series alive.

History is against NSW – no Blues side has won game two in Brisbane after losing the opener and gone on to win the series.

Brad Fittler’s team will have to do it without Cleary, who has been ruled out for up to six weeks with a hamstring injury.

But in better news for the Blues, Souths pair Mitchell and Murray could return for NSW for game two on 21 June.

While Origin is undoubtedly a step up in intensity from NRL club level, Sharks backrower Wade Graham says it might be a drop in intensity in Origin camp that could be leading to these soft-tissue injuries.

“It is a balance, right?” Graham said. “Andrew Gray, he was our head of performance for years at Cronulla and he’s one of, if not the best, I’ve worked with in that in that space.

“He is a GPS guru … he created a lot of the stuff that every team uses now, like training programs and how you how you read GPS data.

“And he found with the players a while ago, when he was managing our loads coming back because (Cronulla) had a big chunk of (Origin) players at one stage, we had like six players in there.

“And because you sort of you get looked after a little bit at the start of the week in Origin … to sort of get on the same page, light sessions, but then you’d play and because you’d back up, you’d get looked after at club level as well.

“So, you’re sort of in this period of five, six weeks where you’re playing lots of games, but you’re not really doing the training loads and he actually found that we were being undertrained throughout the year because you were trying to look after the players for the game only, you actually started to lose the training load.

“It is a delicate thing you’ve got to manage.”

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