The extended Dolphins NRL squad trained on the main field this morning ahead of their trial game against the Central Queensland Capras in Rockhampton this weekend.
See the training photo gallery at the end of this story.
The game, ahead of the NRL’s Pre-season Challenge, will be played at Browne Park, from 7.10pm.
Niu is expected to be named in the squad and will begin his campaign to lock in a spot in the round one side which will take on the Cowboys at Suncorp Stadium on March 10 (3.05pm kick-off).
The Dolphins centre played 17 games with the club in its inaugural season, scoring five tries and assisting in two others.
He’s lost about eight kilograms since the start of the preseason and says increased competition for positions has given him plenty of drive to make his case.
“I think that’s the good thing with Dolphins this year is we’ve got a lot of depth and a lot of competition. There’s spots up for grabs. I’m just trying to train hard and put my best foot forward and get a spot in that round one team,” Niu says.
“It’s been a tough preseason, probably one of the toughest I’ve done. Trials are coming up this week, I can’t wait.”
He says he has been eating better, training hard and trying to get himself in the best shape to take on the season ahead.
The new father says he is still adjusting to ‘dad life’ but being a father is motivation to keep going when it gets tough.
Niu can play in the centres or on the wing, doing both last season as needed.
He has been training in both positions during the pre-season and doesn’t mind where he plays this year.
“I’ll just play wherever the coach wants me,” Niu says.
At this stage, he says he hasn’t really had a chance to speak with Head Coach Wayne Bennett about what he needs to do to cement a spot in the starting squad.
“He just wants me to train hard and keep turning up every day,” he explains.
See the training photo gallery below
Photos by Dominika Lis
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