Cronulla Sharks star Andrew Fifita has revealed details of an incredible body transformation after he blew out to more than 137kg over the NRL off-season.
The rampaging prop is set to start the new season at the lightest weight of his playing career after shredding the kilos over the summer.
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Fifita said he knew he had to lose some weight after enjoying the festive season a little too much.
The Sharks prop said new rules this season in the NRL - which have already been implemented in the English Super League - spurred him on to get in shape.
The NRL has decided to scrap scrums when a ball is kicked over the sideline, with the opposing team given a play-the-ball restart instead.
It's the latest in a series of new rules introduced to speed up the game, making fitness more important than ever in the modern game.
Fifita said a phone call from his brother David, who has played under the rules in England, prompted him to get serious about getting into shape.
“I think the best thing for me was a phone call from my brother,” Fifita said to media, per NRL.com.
“He played the rules that we are playing under now and he just said ‘we need to go down to under 120kg’. He said it’s really fast, it’s different.
“I said what about when they kick out and he said it is straight on, it’s play on, and I was like ‘wow’.”
Fifita said he couldn't let his teammates see how much weight he'd put on when the Sharks returned for pre-season training so he undertook an intense mini- camp to get in shape beforehand.
“I didn’t want to jump on the scale and show the boys I was a fat mess,” he said.
“When I realised, I grabbed my little brother and said ‘I need to lose weight’”.
Fifita only had a week to shed before pre-season started but incredibly, he lost eight kilos in just four days during the training camp in Griffith.
The 31-year-old focused on boxing and cardio training, while adhering to a strict 'juice-only' diet until he was able to eat solids in the evening.
The 2016 NRL premiership winner has now lost 15kg since the start of summer and says he hopes to drop another 5kg to get to a target playing weight of 118kg for the start of the new season, with the Sharks kicking off their campaign against the St George Illawarra Dragons on March 14.
Sharks half targets mid-April return
Cronulla are hopeful of having star playmaker Shaun Johnson back by mid-April after a horror injury in 2020 that saw him rupture an achilles.
Johnson is off contract at Cronulla at season's end and at age 30 is happy to admit he has begun to think about what's next.
But that doesn't mean he plans on it all ending this year.
Last season marked the best of Johnson's career, laying on 23 tries for the Sharks before it ended abruptly in round 19.
That prompted Cronulla to put the start of contract talks on hold, with Johnson left to focus on his rehabilitation.
— Cronulla Sharks (@Cronulla_Sharks) January 22, 2021
"If I go around, if I sign with another club, if I re-sign here or whatever I do if I play on, it's a massive month really," Johnson said.
"I understand that I'm going to miss the first part of the season so there might be a few people out there bit hesitant to have those chats,
"It's like I'm auditioning (when I return) but in saying that I can't let that drive me, I can't let that be the core focus of what I want to do.
"Because that'll probably take my attention away from what I've actually got to do in here.
"Whatever happens. Wherever I go, if I stay whatever I do, I know I'll be OK with it ... I'm not sweating bullets about what's next.”
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