Guardian sports reporter Matt Turner brings us his account of his first full day in Portugal with the Warrington Wolves squad...

DON’T you just hate the sound of an alarm?

Mine on my phone plays a merry tune, but now I associate it with needing to get out of bed so it now completely grinds my gears.

Anyway, I digress. 7.15am and I’m up and lively ready for my first full day with the Wire squad here in Vilamoura.

The first dilemma of the day was shorts or no shorts. I opened my bedroom window to find a sunny scene but the icy blast that speared into the room alongside it made up my mind in favour of jeans.

PHOTOS > The best pictures from our first day with The Wire in Portugal

READ > Look back at my first Portugal Diaries entry

After a quick round of bacon and eggs, it was onto the pitch for the morning field session.

By way of a warm-up, the lads were playing what appeared to be a rugby-netball-handball hybrid.

Using an oval ball, they could not move while in possession and to score a point, the ball had to be thrown below knee height through two slalom poles.

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A three-sport hybrid to warm up

Pretty innovative, but I did decipher that Ben Currie may have a future as a goalkeeper if rugby does not work out for him given the number of excellent saves he made.

The group split into two, with Ade Gardner taking some to do some mobility work while the other players went off with Steve Price, Andrew Henderson and Lee Briers to work on some structure.

Steve talked me through some of the new attacking structures as they were unfolding in front of me – an insight I did not expect and one that was incredibly eye-opening.

I can’t divulge too much (because Pricey knows my room number and will likely hunt me down) but what I will say is it will be much different to what we saw last year.

Time for lunch and the rugby diet continued with some pasta, beef and rice. Not ideal when you made a New Year’s resolution to eat fewer carbs…

I got the chance to have a catch-up with Josh Charnley over food. It’s safe to say he was grateful for the break in the off-season having played pretty much three campaigns back-to-back!

Again, the group split in the afternoon with the majority heading to the gym for a weights session.

As I wandered round taking photos, Jack Hughes asked for a picture as he disguised a bicep flex while taking a drink in a not at all subtle way.

I obliged, so here you go Hughesey…

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Back out on the main pitch, there was kicking practice going on with everything from conversions to drop-outs covered.

There was a subtle breeze blowing right across the pitch making it difficult for the kickers, but there were some sweet strikes in there…until Toby King stepped up.

In Toby’s defence, his strike looked half-decent until the wind carried it across the face of the uprights.

With that all wrapped up, it was time for some contact. Full-blooded, no-quarter-asked-or-given contact.

You can often hear the hits players take from up in the stands and wince. Imagine standing five feet away from one. It made me clutch my ribs and I was only watching!

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A meeting of minds between Lama Tasi and Sitaleki Akauola

Once training was wrapped up, the guys had some downtime and as I made my way to try and source a coffee, I passed the table tennis table.

Steve Price was holding court and was destroying everyone who dared challenge him – namely Pat Moran and Matt Davis.

I used to play table tennis to a decent level in my younger days, so I fancied myself and challenged him.

It didn’t go so well and Pricey duly brushed aside my pretty feeble challenge.

Lama Tasi also sent me packing before I managed to score a victory over Kylie Leuluai, picking up my confidence to challenge the king once again.

Having raced into a 10-5 lead in our first-to-11 game, victory seemed certain until Pricey decided to turn on the mind games.

Rather than block him out, I folded like a cheap suit and lost 13-11. A definite low point!

The players had a team meeting in the evening, after which I got time to catch up with Jason Clark.

What a thoroughly nice bloke he is and I cannot wait to share the full interview with you. It should make for cracking reading.

We did put some of your questions to him via Facebook Live, which I hope everybody got chance to check out.

If not, you can find it here

So with that all done, that wraps up a busy day at Brown’s. Same again tomorrow…

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