BACK IN THE GROOVE: Danny Wicks is fitting in and making the most of his fresh start as a Parramatta Eel. PHOTO: PARRAEELS.COM.AU
BACK IN THE GROOVE: Danny Wicks is fitting in and making the most of his fresh start as a Parramatta Eel. PHOTO: PARRAEELS.COM.AU

Life as an Eel takes shape NRL

DANNY Wicks' personal trainer predicts he will make a big impact when he returns to the NRL this season. The 29-year-old is hoping for a successful return with Parramatta Eels.

Getting his body prepared after a five-year absence is one of the biggest challenges facing Wicks. Matt Carlin from The Gym Yamba is credited with ensuring the 29-year-old was ready to link with the Eels in the preseason. Yesterday the personal trainer spoke with The Daily Examiner.

"He came to me last year when the possibility of him going back to the NRL came up," Carlin said.

"We went through a training program. The Eels coaches set out the basics and left the rest to me.

"We worked on building up his strength and fitness as much as we could.

"Before he went to the Eels he was doing three or four strength training sessions per week, split between upper and lower body, and conditioning every day."

The pair will reunite today. Carlin has arranged a visit to Eels training for his own self-improvement and networking as a strength conditioning trainer.

"When Danny was training with me we talked about the opportunity to go down and get my head in the game with the elite fitness coaches," Carlin said ahead of the excursion.

"I'll be at their training sessions on Thursday and Friday, observing and chatting to the coaches."

Carlin has been in regular contact with Wicks and said he is thriving in his new surrounds at Parramatta.

"Danny is loving it," Carlin said. "He's doing really well. They did a whole bunch of strength and fitness tests and he topped the club in five of 11 tests.

"He hasn't done a lot of the leg conditioning and running at this level for a long time. But with regards to strength he's right at the top of the club."

Will Wicks make an immediate impact or will it take time?

"No one knows until he runs out," Carlin said.

"But there's not many people at 108, 110 kilos with his strength and power levels, which are hugely important in rugby league, combined with the ability to run 100 metres in under 11 seconds.

"He's quite explosive. He's the sort of guy who hits the line really hard and if he gets through no one's catching him.

"Possibly his sideways movement and agility might take time. But I think in his first game he'll make a big impact."

The Eels take on Manly Sea Eagles at Pirtek Stadium in round one on Saturday, March 6.



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