The powerfully-built 114kg and 1.91m-tall Stowers isn't expecting any favours from Tasman's coaching staff. He expects to work for a starting position in this year's ITM Cup team. "It's not my style just to walk into [a team], I have to earn the jersey," Stowers said.
A key figure in that conditioning process this season has been the Tasman union's new fitness and conditioning coach Jeremy McIlroy. Having cut his teeth with the Nelson College First XV, with whom he's still associated, McIlroy's progressed through the Nelson Bays and Tasman B ranks as trainer and has now been handed the baton from Simon Thomas, who's ended four seasons with the union's NPC side. Along with strength trainer Glenn Stewart and sprint coach Brodie Hewlett, McIlroy's busy knocking this season's latest crop of Makos into shape and so far at least, he's been delighted with the response and the results.
KIERAN KEANE: There’s a good feel around the place, the boys have got a spring in their steps, the gym trainers have done a wonderful job
Peter Betham is hoping to return to play the ITM Cup with Tasman, the team responsible for reinvigorating his Super Rugby career among a Wallabies-laden back division at the Waratahs. "I'm still in negotiations. Hopefully I get a chance to go back," said Betham, of a return to Tasman before the squad crossed the ditch.
Tasman flanker's injury nightmare almost over . Squire credits a phone call from Tasman coach Kieran Keane for reigniting the spark. "I got a call from KK and he just said to me, ‘you've had a bit of bad luck but we're here to support you'. He's been really good. "He probably doesn't realise it, but his phone call was probably the thing that got me back up again and going to the gym and still training."
Robbie Malneek is expected back in Nelson within the next week after he officially agreed to terms with the Tasman union on Friday. According to Tasman chief executive Andrew Flexman, the union was delighted to have the 73-game veteran back on board.