From right - Rhinos president Tony Stackhouse, Greg Francis, Ipswich coach Glenn Lazarus and Jets CEO Brad Wolens.
From right - Rhinos president Tony Stackhouse, Greg Francis, Ipswich coach Glenn Lazarus and Jets CEO Brad Wolens.

High-flying Jets land in Grafton

RUGBY LEAGUE: The Grafton Rhinos hosted the Ipswich Jets Rugby League Club over the weekend for their annual pre-season camp.

The Queensland club starts their 2010 campaign next weekend with a trial game against the Titans under-20 squad as a curtain raiser to the Broncos v Titans trial.

Ipswich stayed at the Grafton Hockey Centre and undertook both physical and theoretical training over the two days with Jets head coach and former Australian representative Glenn Lazarus putting them through their paces.

The Walker brothers - Shane and Ben - are also part of the coaching staff and along with trainers and conditioners kept a close eye on the 36-strong squad.

Rhinos coaches Xavier Sullivan, and Adam and Mark Shields had informal get-togethers with the Ipswich staff where coaching and training drills were exchanged, as well as tips and tricks.

The team headed north to have a brief stop at Yamba for a run and swim about midday after some presentations by both clubs.

Ipswich chairman Steven Johnston said after the success of the 2009 trip, his side was always planning on making the return.

“We came down last year at this time and it was really beneficial to the club so we booked in straight away for this year,” he said.

“We were looked after last night by the Great Northern Hotel and the Grafton Services Club and the Grafton people are really friendly.”

Rhinos president Tony Stackhouse knows the benefits – both on and off the field – which can be brought to his club through the exchanging of ideas with the high-flying Jets.

“We are building a great association with the Ipswich club and they are a great bunch of guys,” he said.

“The Queensland Cup is another tier above the NRRRL with many NRL players like Ian Lacey playing for Ipswich and we can gain a lot from those players. It was a good weekend for both clubs.”

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