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Caden Helmers

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Raiders front-rower Shannon Boyd is primed for a massive 2016 season after working tirelessly to give himself the best chance of playing more minutes.

Boyd cut alcohol out of his diet during preseason training, and is already reaping the rewards after a solid first round hit-out against the Panthers.

THE HOME GROUND: See this story on the Raiders website.

“I think that’s helped a lot. I probably should have done it a little bit earlier in the preseason,” said Boyd.

“I’ve noticed it’s helped a fair bit. It’s helped me maintain my weight a lot easier, so I’ll try and stay off it for a fair while longer yet.”

On a day where a number of forwards lost up to five kilograms, the imposing Cowra product estimates he lost around three-and-a-half kilograms in his two stints on the field. The 23-year-old had eight carries for 65 metres and made 25 tackles in his 33 minutes on the paddock in scorching conditions.

“Last year – in that heat – if I was starting I wouldn’t have got those minutes, definitely not,” said Boyd.

“I think it has helped massively for me and I just have to keep working on that. As the match fitness comes, [I’ll] hopefully get a few more minutes out.”

The junior New South Wales representative has committed to putting in the extra work required to help the Raiders surge to the top of the table come the business end of the season.

“You’ve just got to make sure you’re eating well during the week, and doing a couple of extra little top-ups in the gym or something like that, just to maintain your weight, get a bit of a sweat up every now and then just like you would in the preseason.”

Boyd has been working closely with Raiders nutritionist Lee Woodbridge as he looks to earn more time on the paddock in the lime green jersey.

“[Woodbridge] has helped me out a lot. All the non-alcohol stuff has helped me out, and [Lee has been] pushing me pretty hard with it, so it’s helped massively to stay off the grog.”

“In a couple of weights sessions there we’ll do a bit of cardio in and around it so circuit stuff, so that helps as well.”

Boyd will now look to continue his strong start to the season this weekend against the Sydney Roosters at GIO Stadium.


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