Ofahengaue vows to fight his way back
Joe Ofahengaue has used the first day of pre-season to mark out his goal for NRL season 2017 – to earn his way back into the Broncos' top 17.
The big forward ran impressively in his time trial against other young forwards as the first group of players returned to training after the off-season on Monday.
Just 21 years of age, Ofahengaue has already experienced the highs and lows of life in the NRL.
In 2015 he was a Junior Kangaroo and made his NRL debut, going on to play 14 matches including an NRL Grand Final appearance.
But this year as his form and confidence dipped he managed 17 games, but lost his place in the Broncos top 17, not playing after Round 21 and finishing the year in the Intrust Super Cup.
It's a lesson Ofahengaue learned hard and he has come back to training ready to make the most of opportunities. Opportunities in the forward pack such as those created by the retirement of Corey Parker and departure of Jarrod Wallace.
"I didn't play as much NRL as I wanted to last year – I let myself and the boys down," said Ofahengaue.
"I am hoping I can turn that around this year by getting myself a good pre-season and getting back into that squad.
"There are some opportunities there and I guess it all comes down to the hard work that we do.
"Everything we do in that pre-season counts towards earning a spot in that team.
"I'm looking forward to that challenge."
Ofahengaue said he had been careful to look after himself in the off-season so he returned in good order.
If you don't, the 1.5 kilometre time trial that greets every returnee will tell trainers all they need to know.
"It is hard if you haven't prepared yourself properly,” he said.
"We are lucky we have a great staff who have us some things to do throughout the off-season, so I am pretty sure the boys have prepared themselves well."
The majority of the Broncos' NRL squad for 2017 will return for pre-season training next Monday.
This story first appeared on broncos.com.au