Tautai: Now is the time to put in the hard yards
Taulima Tautai says ticking the boxes early on will be the key to a successful 2017 for Warriors.
The players in Shaun Wane’s squad have been back in work and preparing for their Super League title defence for the past month, and sessions trying out new sports, such as netball and surfing, have seasoned the regular grind of fitness drills at this time of year.
And after a short break, Tautai is aiming to squeeze as much out of the team’s preparation as possible.
“It’s good to be back in the routine,” he said.
“It’s one of those times of the year you want to tick all the boxes early on. It’s a long season.
“At the moment we’re trying to get everyone fit, going through the hard yards, running, the rest of it.”
Following October’s Grand Final success over Warrington, Tautai used his off-season break to take in the sights of New York with his family, before jetting off to the Canary Islands in search of some winter sun.
But of the two, the 28-year-old admits the relaxed atmosphere at the beach was more suited to him.
“We went to New York for a couple of days then we went to Tenerife with (Salford player) Weller Hauraki’s family and (Widnes’) Aaron Heremaia’s family and it was good to get some sun,” he said.
“(New York) was all right. I don’t really like the busy life. What was amazing was I couldn’t believe how busy it was from night to day.
“It was good, though. We did all the touristy stuff and the kids loved it.
“Their starter sizes are pretty much my main meals!”
But with rugby back on the brain, Tautai is already eyeing his first World Club Challenge appearance when Wigan face Cronulla Sharks at the DW Stadium on February 19.
“Our first big thing is the game against Cronulla. That’s the first thing we’re focusing on,” he said.
“After a Grand Final win, the pressure’s off and everyone’s enjoying each other’s company but now everyone’s back in we’re speaking about the season ahead and working towards our goals.”
Meanwhile, Warriors have confirmed their World Club Challenge clash with NRL champions Cronulla will kick off at 3pm on February 19.
There had been rumours that kick-off would be moved to the evening to accommodate Sky’s schedule.