O'Davis hopes extra training gives edge

By Jay Buchan

IPSWICH'S International Legends of League game is only a month away and the players are getting themselves into the best possible shape.

At least one of them is anyway.

"It is always good to get back and play footy up that way," Toowoomba product and Queensland State of Origin hero Robbie O'Davis said.

"The games are always a good spectacle.

"We'll see if any of the old boys have got some running in them."

You can be sure O'Davis does.

Last weekend he completed the Port Macquarie Triathlon, finishing the 3.8km swim, 180km bike ride and 42km run in 10 hours and 20 minutes.

"I had a goal to break 10 hours to qualify for the Hawaiian Triathlon, but 15km into the run I started cramping up," he said.

"Then my goal changed to just trying to finish.

"I think I'll give up that sport now.

"I'll probably find another sport to wreck myself in."

O'Davis has also been training the Newcastle Knights reserves and runs his own personal training business.

He may have an edge in fitness over some of his team-mates and opponents.

However, he learnt in the first legends game he played in, in Ipswich in 2004, not to rub it in.

"I had only been out of the game a month and I backed up Gary Larson then sprinted 60m to score," he said.

"When I came back Graeme Wynn grabbed me by the neck and said if I ever did that again he'd kill me."

Despite the death threat, O'Davis said the match would provide a great opportunity to meet old acquaintances and make new friends while turning on a spectacle for the crowd.

It was in that same game in 2004 O'Davis got to meet his Balmain Tigers heroes Garry Jack, Ben Elias and Paul Sironen.

"I was like a kid in a candy store," he said.

"But they were just as enthusiastic to meet me."

Other stars confirmed for the match include Jason Hetherington, Michael Hancock, Gordon Tallis, John Hopoate, Eric Grothe, Brett Kenny and Kerry Boustead for Australia.

The international team features the likes of Jarrod McCracken, Gary Freeman, Andy Platt, Ellery Hanley and Ipswich Brothers forward Grant Young.

The international legends game is the highlight of a huge day of rugby league at QLD Group Stadium on May 17.

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