Titans' Arrow to go harder in 2019 NRL
Jai Arrow hopes booze-free weekends and traditional Chinese medicine will make a difference, admitting he ran out of steam after State of Origin in his breakout NRL season.
The forward's move from Brisbane to the Gold Coast elevated him from fringe NRL player to Queensland Origin standout in 2018.
But he regrets falling away at the back end of the club season and has gone to great lengths to avoid a repeat this year.
The 23-year-old was sporting the trademark circular bruises associated with cupping therapy during a Wednesday beach session, while he has also pledged to lay off the drink.
Cupping, believed to have originated in Egypt or China, is a heat-based suction therapy said to accelerate muscle recovery that made headlines when endorsed by swimmer Michael Phelps at the Rio Olympics.
Arrow played 21 NRL games last season as he battled back spasms, a knee complaint and a heavy collision that battered his rib cage.
Rattling off a body management plan that includes cupping, massage, ice baths, foam rolling and an "extras group" to manage his knee, Arrow claims he is the only Titans player not to miss a minute of pre-season training under new fitness guru Dan Ferris.
"Definitely, I did hit a wall there after the third Origin and probably felt sorry for myself," he said.
"I'm not going to feel sorry for myself anymore, it's a job I love to do.
"I had a bit of a breakout year but if I can manage my body better, stay away from alcohol, it'll go a long way to me playing my best footy.
"I'll do what I love doing on the weekends; take the dogs for a walk and I've got a girlfriend now, so hang out with her and hopefully do some housework."
Arrow is intent on becoming a leader at the club, regardless of whether coach Garth Brennan slaps a tag on it.
"When things are getting tough I want to be the one that takes that tough carry," he said.
"I can't bloody sit back and let everyone else do their thing, I've got to step up."
© AAP 2019