Weight off Vidot's shoulders in NRL return
Daniel Vidot has revealed the dramatic weight loss he has undertaken in order to earn an NRL return and the disappointment in missing the start of the season with a groin injury.
Signed to a second-tier contract with the Titans when homesickness soured his stint with Salford in the Super League, Vidot was tipping the scales in excess of 120 kilograms when he landed back in Australia.
He has since stripped 13 kilograms from his hulking frame and ahead of his club debut against the Cowboys at Cbus Super Stadium on Saturday night says that he is feeling fitter and faster than at any other time since leaving the Raiders at the end of the 2011 season.
Named to play on the left wing for the Titans, Vidot will have four kilograms on his Cowboys opposite Kyle Feldt but is adamant he is ready to rip in in what will be his first game in the NRL since Round 18, 2015.
"In October I was 121.7 [kilograms] so I've gotten down to 108 so I've lost quite a bit," Vidot told NRL.com.
"It definitely comes down to nutrition and extra work in the gym and running. I've really put in the hard yards and I'm hoping for a big season.
"I haven't been this light for a while. I was playing 113 for the Broncs so an extra five kilos less it's always going to be a positive for me.
"The only way I can look at it is that my opposite number isn't as heavy as I am. I'm getting down towards their weight so I'm not carrying that extra plate on the back."
When Vidot came into the top grade at Canberra in 2009 he was nudging the magic 100kg mark yet by the time his two-year stint at the Dragons finished he was the heaviest player at the club, which included bullocking prop Michael Weyman.
"What happened was I went from Canberra and the Dragons wanted me to put weight on and I ended up putting on 15 kilos in one pre-season," said Vidot, who has scored 53 tries in 111 NRL games to date.
"I beefed up a lot and there was a point in time at the Dragons where I was the heaviest guy on the field. Mick Weyman was playing too but I was heavier than him. I was 116 at the Dragons so I was real heavy.
"I'm feeling a lot fitter and feeling faster so hopefully I can bring that out on Saturday night."
The family whom he has supported financially throughout his rugby league career and who ultimately drew him back home will be in attendance on Saturday night to see Vidot's return to the top flight.
The groin injury that threatened to derail all the work he had done in pre-season is now behind him and the nerves that come with being back in the big time are well and truly setting in.
"It was the week before the season and I felt like I got shot in my leg while I was doing a speed session," Vidot recalled.
"It was a bit annoying really, especially having to sit on the sideline and watch the boys play with all those injuries and not be able to do anything. But I've got my chance now and hopefully I capitalise on that on Saturday night.
"Definitely nervous, being back on Australian soil, but I'm also excited.
"Still local, 40 minutes from Mum's house, the family are coming to watch, it's going to be a big challenge for me and all I can do is try and do my best for the Titans.
"I'm grateful for the opportunity that Neil (Titans coach Neil Henry) has given me and I just want to take it with two hands."