Jordan Rapana of the Raiders celebrates scoring a try.
Jordan Rapana of the Raiders celebrates scoring a try.

Kiwi Test flyer joins Raiders ‘fat club’

RUGBY LEAGUE: New Zealand international Jordan Rapana has spent the past week in Canberra's "fat club".

Rapana and fellow Kiwi Joseph Tapine were among the remaining Raiders to reunite with the playing group this week following their mandatory six-week break.

But Rapana revealed he had failed to meet a number of targets that resulted in some additional fitness sessions.

"I'm in there with Elliott (Whitehead). I shouldn't be in there too much longer though. I just missed out on getting out but I've got testing again on Friday," Rapana said.

Raiders coach Ricky Stuart was forced to confront Samoan trio Junior Paulo, Josh Papalii and Joey Leilua last December after they had returned from World Cup duties overweight.

All three are understood to have since come back to near playing weight for the New Year.

"Myself, (Tapine) and a few of the English and Samoan boys, we're grown men and we knew that we were getting a longer break," Rapana said.

Canberra's Jordan Rapana celebrates scoring a try.
Canberra's Jordan Rapana celebrates scoring a try.

"So we did have to look after our bodies and not come back in terrible shape.

"I felt as though I always looked after myself as well as I could've. But that week I had last week has put my fitness back up and my body feels good."

Rapana also conceded the team had a point to prove in 2018 after missing out on last year's finals despite being among the competition favourites at the start of the season.

The Raiders fell two wins short of the top eight.

"Everyone's determined. We want to win that premiership. Last year wasn't our best season but the boys ... want to go out and prove a point this year," he said.

Jordan Rapana of the Raiders runs the ball.
Jordan Rapana of the Raiders runs the ball.

Meanwhile, Raiders powerhouse Joseph Tapine has declared himself ready to go for the club's NRL trials after recovering from an injury scare in last year's World Cup.

Tapine admitting being anxious about a knee injury that required a painkilling injection to finish New Zealand's unsuccessful campaign.

However the Raiders forward on Wednesday said he rejoined full training this week.

"I've been training full, no problems there. All the running's fine. Still feels a bit weak sometimes in weights, but I'm not the strongest bloke in the gym so it doesn't really worry me," he said.

"I was worried because I've never really had any injuries so I didn't know what was wrong with it at the time. Luckily it was alright, they injected it and I was back out there."


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