FORMER Warrington Wolves favourite Matt King said his 'two favourite teams' did well when they clashed in training.
King, who won two Challenge Cup medals and a League Leaders' Shield with Warrington between 2008 and 2011, assisted at the shared training session between Wolves and South Sydney Rabbitohs at Redfern Oval on Friday.
Now retired from playing after two injury-hit seasons with Souths, he is a member of the backroom team at Russell Crowe's club and was pleased to see his old Wolves teammates for the first time in two years.
He was in the middle of the field and offered some direction, too, during the two clubs' opposed games - competitive attacking and defending but not full contact
“I was supposed to be helping the Souths but I was giving a few tips to the Warrington boys too," he said.
"It was awesome to get my two favourite clubs together and watch the boys go head to head.
“The pre-season is really nice but you don’t have anyone in front of you, so it’s nice to put 13 professional athletes from the other side of the world up against the boys. Both teams played really well.”
The training get-together, on Friday, was the first in primrose and blue for Souths legend Roy Asotasi on turf that was his home training base up until four months ago.
As well as the opposed games, the teams did a combined warm-up and fitness drills in 20-minute blocks.
Asotasi said: “It was good. I probably wasn’t really looking forward to coming to Redfern for my first training session (with Warrington) but it’s always great to be there and enjoy the training with the new squad and mix with the old squad, so I had a good time.
“It felt weird walking in and having to turn left inside the tunnel. I was waiting for my protein shake - which wasn’t there - and I realised I was with Warrington.
“It was good to see some old faces and I enjoyed the training session. You’ve got to enjoy these moments especially with the sun - you don’t get much of that in the UK!”
Wolves centre Ryan Atkins was pleased with the way Wolves' squad handled the session.
"We did a combined warm up then went into an opposed game for 20 minutes - 13 v 13," he said in his column on the club's website, www.warringtonwolves.org
"It's not full contact, more of a controlled grab. This can still be quite physical, and is much quicker than a normal match. It was fantastic to do some team stuff against real quality opposition.
"After this we went into a combined block of 20 minute fitness drills. It was one of the toughest sessions I've experienced in ridiculously warm conditions but we more than held our own. This gave us a real boost.
"We then went back into an opposed 13 v 13, working under extreme fatigue. Working at that intensity, against quality opposition, in that heat is giving the team a great foundation for the upcoming season.
"At times during the session you felt at death's door physically, but as soon as it was all complete, what a feeling!"