It was a sense of déjà vu for Jesse Parahi as the Australian Sevens star returned to Concord Oval where he spent a brief stint with the Wests Tigers in the NRL.
It was only less than a year ago when Parahi was training with the NRL outfit as the Men’s Sevens side amped up their preparation for the Sydney competition, however now Parahi finds himself lending a hand to the Tigers squad as they take shape for their NRL Auckland Nines tournament.
“I haven’t seen a lot of them since this time last year so I’ll catch up with them for a coffee after training and see how they are progressing for the year ahead,” Parahi said.
In a change of scenery, the Men’s Aussie Sevens side were put through their paces against the Wests Tigers as head coach Andy Friend used the opportunity to put his players in unfamiliar surroundings.
“We have done a lot of training since September, it’s always very handy to have a bit of variety for the boys but the other thing is that it throws different attacking structures and shapes at you so it works out for the defence very well,” - Andy Friend
“We have made the field a little bit more narrow which was harder for us to find holes in, so it was a bit of a hybrid concept between League and Union for us which was a bit different.”
“But that’s part of the game; to try and adapt on the run and find the gaps.”
The change in training certainly provided added momentum for the men’s side as the countdown to the Sydney Sevens continues.
“It was really good to work on our defence and attack against something that we are not normally used to so it changes the setting for us and it really gets the boys excited and up for training,” Parahi said.
Parahi has a firm eye on the Sydney Sevens after having minor surgery on his cheekbone last week and missing the Sydney tournament in 2016.
“I haven’t played the Sydney Sevens yet, I was actually sitting with the Wests Tigers boys at the tournament last year so personally I’m really excited to be playing in it this year and the feeling in the camp is really good and we have a lot of confidence going into it.”
The Sydney Sevens kicks off on Friday February 3 at Allianz Stadium, tickets are selling fast and it is sure to be a weekend you don’t want to miss! Purchase your tickets here.