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Late night trips to McDonald's and binge eating on KFC for five months.

It's not exactly a healthy diet for your average member of the public but one that rising Cronulla hooker Blayke Brailey had little choice but to take on in a bid to become a regular mainstay in the Sharks' engine room.

A lightweight Brailey weighed 80kg when he turned up to pre-season training in November before a decision was made for him to beef up to tackle some of the game's biggest forwards in his debut season.

"I was forcing it down doing all that I could," Brailey said.

"Every hour, force feeding myself, different diet to what most of the other boys have. I'd have two litres of OAK milk every day. I'd wake up at 3am. Eating every hour.

"In between training, I'd be eating. I got over it at times but did whatever I could to put on the weight."

Eels v Sharks - Round 4

For many players in the Telstra Premiership, the thought of eating after a game is far from their mind.

But give it a few hours later and you'll see some at their closest fast food restaurant.

"I have my own preparation before games. I like to be on the lighter side to feel quick out there but after games I'd be losing three kilos," Brailey said.

"The last thing I want to do it eat food but I've just got to force it down. I eat Maccas, KFC after the game, as many calories as I can to get that weight back up."

I'd have two litres of OAK milk every day. I'd wake up at 3am. Eating every hour

Cronulla hooker Blayke Brailey

According to Stats, the average hooker playing weight over the past 14 seasons is between 89-90 kilos with limited exceptions.

"I weigh around 83-84 kilograms. I started around 80 and am looking to put on another two and get around 86, that's my goal," Brailey said.

"If I'm not heavy in the middle I'll get found out. Everyone's going to run at me, doing a lot of tackles and not let the team down."

Physically, the 20-year-old has enjoyed his first three games in the NRL after debuting alongside brother Jayden in round one.

"Coming off the bench I just ease my way into it," he said.

"When you've got Andrew Fifita, Paul Gallen and Aaron Woods next to you, it makes my job easier."

Brailey's long-term future at the Sharks has come under the spotlight with rival clubs reportedly already planning to secure the promising rake.

He hopes to for now play as many games as he can alongside Jayden before making a decision.

"There's been a lot of talk but I try not to buy into it. I know me and my brother compete for the same spot but we're just really enjoying playing together at the Sharks," he said.

"It's our club, we grew up here but then, on the other hand, we want to be starting hookers. It makes the situation tough."

Acknowledgement of Country

National Rugby League respects and honours the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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