A gruelling training regime following a horror start to the season has cost Wagga City.
The Boiled Lollies will be without captain James Maloney for at least the next six weeks after damaging tendons in his hand.
Maloney needed surgery after a mishap at training last week but is hoping he won’t have to spend too long on the sidelines.
“We had a bit of a hard session last Tuesday after what we put up on the Saturday, it was a bit of a flogging and I came out the worse out of it,” Maloney said.
“… I did some tendons in my fingers so I had surgery last week and will be out for six to eight weeks they reckon.
“Hopefully it will be a bit less.”
Despite sitting on the sidelines, Maloney is confident Wagga City will put on a better showing when hosting CSU at Conolly Rugby Complex on Saturday.
There definitely hasn’t been an Easter break for the club following the 52-12 loss to Waratahs to start the season.
Instead they’ve upped the ante after being “given a fright” by the premiers in the grand final rematch a fortnight ago.
“We’ve put two big weeks on training in,” Maloney said.
“Four big nights and we even had an extra session on the weekend just to break it up a little bit.
“We’ve put a big effort in so hopefully we will lift after last week and will see the results of it.”
CSU are looking to end a long winless streak after a narrow loss to Albury to start the season.
However Maloney believes the Boiled Lollies are just trying to improve themselves after struggling against Waratahs.
“We’ve done a lot of fitness, a lot of tackling work, a lot of rucking work, just everything basically,” he said.
“We’ve just really knuckled down and worked hard.
“Round one kinda gave us a fright.
"Waratahs were pretty good, they are obviously the benchmark again, and we realised a couple of thing and just need to step up now.”
Nick Gleeson has been handed the captain’s role when he debuts for Wagga City against Reddies.
Joining the club after a season off due to a shoulder injury the former Griffith co-coach will start at hooker.
Maloney is confident he’ll more than fill his boots.
“Nick has been stepping up at training and all the boys have been stepping up at training,” he said
“He’s previously coached Griffith and captained Griffith so he put his hand up.
“It is good to see.
“He’s played a couple of pre-season games with us and knows what he’s going.”
With Gleeson into hooker, Mike Tuilau has been pushed into prop while John Blackmore has replaced Maloney at flanker.
There are plenty of changes in the back line with Wade Palframann in for Drew Martin at five-eighth.
Martin has switched to the wing as has Vili Cavuca while Carl Willits will start at inside centre.