Flegler dives into Dolphins training

Published 1:17pm 5 December 2023

Flegler dives into Dolphins training
Words by Kylie Knight

Dolphins’ newcomer Tom Flegler joined his teammates for his first full training session in the heat at Redcliffe this morning – a month early.

See the photo gallery at the end of this story

We asked Jarrod Wallace how he made him feel welcome.

“(You) shake his hand and say welcome and good luck for the next couple of weeks because … everyone’s just kinda holding on at this stage,” he says still catching his breath after training.

“You welcome him as if he’s played with us together, talk to him and make sure we’re all on the same page. Hopefully, that round one team will all line up together and get a win.

“He’s obviously keen to get out here with the boys. He’s been here two or three times now but that’s the first time he’s done an actual session.

“He isn’t meant to be back until January 8 or something like that but new team, new boys … he wants to get around the combinations. He was the first man to put his hand up when it came to contact today.

“I heard him and Tommy Gilbert giving a bit of cheek there. It’s started already, so I can’t wait to sit back with some popcorn and watch those two go at it all offseason. It will be good.”

Wallace said Flegler would bring some great leg speed and youth to the squad in the middle.

“We’ve got a fantastic pack. Wayne’s got a good job but he’s going to have a tough job,” he said.

“The way the boys are training at the moment, it’s definitely one of the best packs I’ve lined up against with experience, youth and full of beans.”

It’s a line-up Wallace is sure will be intimidating to their opponents.

“Every NRL team has a couple of crazy fellas in the middle. We had plenty of experience … our crazy came out wide last year in Kaufusi … hopefully he can play some more games for us this year. The leg speed that him and Tommy both give us through the middle … is going to be huge for us,” he said.

Wallace returned to training about four weeks ago but is good physical and mental shape after a month-long boxing camp in the lead-up to his showdown with Nelson Asofa-Solomona in October.

“I reckon the mental game with boxing was probably one of the toughest things I’ve done … and one of the best things I’ve done which is exactly why I did it,” Wallace explained.

“I wanted to push myself and push my body to a different level so I could come back this year for the Dolphins and be even better.”

Flegler dives into Dolphins training

Beyond 2024

Wallace is signed with the club until the end of the 2024 season and says being at the Dolphins and training with Wayne has rejuvenated his career.

“I absolutely loved it up here last year. It was definitely one of the highlights of my career. To be able to play with Wayne again was obviously always a goal of mine. I knew he’d get the best out of me and that’s what he did last year,” he said.

“I can’t wait to get into our second year … I know we’re going to go bigger and better than we did last year.”

He would love to remain a Dolphin and train under Kristian Woolf as Head Coach, who he says shares some of the straight-talking qualities he most admires in Bennett.

He will leave that in the hands of his manager while he focuses on training hard in preseason, so he’s ready for the 2024 competition.

“To be able to stay and play another couple of years under Woolfie … that’s my goal.”

Most of the squad is back for preseason training, with notable absentees including Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow, Felise Kaufusi, Herbie Farnworth and Head Coach Wayne Bennett.

So, when will the Super Coach return?

“It could be anywhere between now and January 21, I reckon,” Wallace said laughing.

He said he doesn’t mind when Bennett returns so long as the coffees are on him.

Training photo gallery (click through)


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