Tigers prodigy snatches title of NRL’s fittest
The NRL's new six-to-go rule has already showed it is going to benefit the fittest players - and they don't come fitter than the new Wests Tigers recruit Harry Grant.
Formerly the leader of the pack at the Melbourne Storm ahead of the flying Ryan Papenhuyzen, now Grant's also taken the lead from Josh Reynolds at the Tigers.
That's the inside mail from respected fitness guru Ronnie Palmer after Grant's eye-catching debut for his new club in the win over Cronulla.
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Palmer is one of the game's longest serving head conditioners who has worked with some of the great rugby league athletes over many seasons.
But after Cooper Cronk revealed on Fox League over the weekend that Grant was in fact the leader in endurance training when he was at the Storm, we decided to hunt down Palmer to get his verdict.
While Palmer concedes he hasn't had the chance to test Grant's fitness over the course of an entire pre-season, what the 22-year-old is showing so far is setting a new benchmark.
"I think overall he is probably ahead of them," Palmer said, referring to Reynolds and fellow dummy half Billy Walters.
"Grubby has always been super fit but it would probably now go him (Grant), than Grubby than Billy.
"From what I can gather it was out of him and the fullback down there at Melbourne (Papenhuyzen).
"So what they are saying about his performances at Melbourne are pretty spot on."
The way Grant jumped out of the box against the Sharks, people are already starting to talk about how he could be putting pressure on Ben Hunt and Jake Friend for the Queensland hooking role by the end of this season.
You'd imagine no one will be watching Grant's development more closely than Maroons coach Kevvie Walters, given Billy's playing tag team with Grant for the Tigers' dummy half duties.
But what Tigers fans will also be hoping is that Grant's stay turns out to be long term, given he is only on loan for the season after that historic player swap with Paul Momirovski.
It is unknown if Cameron Smith will play on at the Storm, while the other factor is that Brandon Smith is the current New Zealand No 9.
For now, all Michael Maguire wants is to see Grant's development help the Tigers become a more consistent team.
"Down the track we will work out where that is but at this present moment we are of the understanding he will head back to Melbourne," Maguire said.
"But we are in the now and things change in rugby league.
"We will deal with what we know now, and that it is it has provided a great opportunity for us both."
It's no secret Maguire is known for keeping his players extremely fit, so understandably he's taken an instant liking to this young bloke.
"He spends a lot of time working on his game and obviously fitness is a big part of that, and he works hard at it," Maguire said.
"So he gets rewards off being able to do things in a game when fatigue comes in.
"And that is obviously what the good hookers are doing.
"If he is feeling fresh, well, he is going to give himself more opportunities."
Originally published as Tigers prodigy snatches title of NRL's fittest