Auto Poster Stephen Kearney planning changes at Warriors for 2019

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Apr 23, 2013

Roger Tuivasa-Sheck will be able to have a full preseason programme with the Warriors.

The Warriors have begun work on their 2019 campaign as players return to training in dribs and drabs, as their various rest periods come to an end.

At the beginning of the month, younger players turned up to be put through their paces by the Auckland club's head of performance physical and football, Alex Corvo.

This week the likes of Roger Tuivasa-Sheck and Blake Green joined them, returning along with other players who weren't involved in any international rugby league.

Andrew Cornaga / www.photosport.

Stephen Kearney and Warriors recruitment manager Peter O'Sullivan cast their eyes over the clubs' new signings.

Warriors coach Stephen Kearney said on Wednesday that preparations for 2019 were just getting under way after having had time to reflect on this year's NRL campaign.

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"It's imperative that we do that," Kearney said of taking time to reflect.

"To see where we made some progress and where we need to keep improving. That's not only for the club as a whole, but also individually, for each player and where they can improve.

"We put plans in place to start that process over the course of this preseason."

Pre Christmas for NRL teams is generally a period for strength and conditioning and no doubt Corvo has already been working the players hard, but Kearney says he's also been getting involved.

"A large proportion of the programme is with Alex, but we still have a fair bit to do," Kearney said.

"We want to start implementing the fundamentals of our structure and plan and sometimes that's really beneficial when they're quite fatigued after being with Alex.

"It's a good opportunity to get some tackling work into them also."

While Warriors captain Roger Tuivasa-Sheck would have loved to have gone on the Kiwis' three-test tour of England, which finished last weekend, an injury picked up in the playoff loss to the Panthers ruled him out.

However, one positive of his absence was that he'll be able to get a full preseason under his belt, which could help him raise his game to an even higher level in 2019.

"The simple fact was that he wasn't right to go [on tour]," Kearney said.

"The injuries he had, with the high ankle and also did his knee in the last game, it gave him a great opportunity to repair them and that was really important.

"From that sense, he's had a chance to allow his body to get over those injuries."

Warriors assistant coach Stacey Jones, was also an assistant for the Kiwis for their tour, but returned home early, skipping the last test in Leeds, to help with the Warriors preseason.

The Kiwi players won't be back for a while yet and there were a fair few of them from the club in Michael Maguire's squad.

Having watched the three-test series against England, Kearney said he felt there was little between the two countries, before the 34-0 thrashing by New Zealand in Leeds.

"It was a hard fought contest, particularly the first two tests," Kearney said.

"It's always a hard challenge to go over there and there wasn't a great deal between the teams in the first two test matches and there were probably some opportunities where they didn't quite execute in those first two.

"Unfortunately we didn't get the result in the first two, but I thought it was a good message from the team to come out and have a quality performance in their last match."

Meanwhile, the Warriors have announced they will play a trial game against Maguire's Wests Tigers in Whangarei on March 2.

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