WAKEFIELD Trinity Wildcats centre Joe Arundel revealed new head coach Brian Smith has already demonstrated his tough side – by making “soft” players redouble their efforts in training.
Ex-Parramatta, Sydney Roosters and St George chief Smith takes charge for his first game on Sunday when bottom-placed Wakefield, seeking to end their dismal 14-match losing league streak, host Salford Red Devils.
The revered Australian, 61, has been brought in to end the West Yorkshire club’s horrendous slide and ex-Hull FC three-quarter Arundel admits they have already been made aware of his exacting standards.
“There’s been a massive change in the intensity of our training sessions and you can see the players have picked up,” he said.
“Brian’s brought a philosophy that we train hard and hopefully we’ll take that into the game.
“He took the first two field sessions in the last two days and the intensity has been hard and the collisions have been hard. We had a meeting on Monday where he planned out what he wanted to do – and he’s definitely done that.
“We did a big contact session Wednesday and if a few of the boys ran soft he made them do it again. There’s no slacking. That will be good for us.
“Hopefully he’ll bring his knowledge from what he’s done in the past as he’s got the credentials. He’s shown that before at his other clubs.”
Arundel, meanwhile, hopes to impress not just to help them avoid the drop but to earn himself a new deal, too.
The 23-year-old, who joined after being released by Hull last year, is out of contract at the end of the season.
The former England Knights international played his first game in three weeks against Leeds Rhinos on Sunday and now hopes Smith can help him kick on.
“He’s got lots of stories, he talks and he knows what he’s talking about,” said Arundel.
“It’ll me be good for me to get some knowledge from him and help develop myself as a player.
“Everybody needs to prove a point – not just for Brian but for their pride, too.
“There’s a lot of people out of contract and obviously they need to play as it’s their livelihoods but you need to fight to help Wakefield survive.
“Hopefully we can pick up some form and confidence and go into the Middle Eights knowing we can win.”