New Zealand
Faumuina returns to training to lose weight
ESPN Staff
January 14, 2014
After a christmas break with his family Fauuina returned to Blues training in order to lose weight © Getty Images

Charlie Faumuina has returned to work early after enjoying the Christmas festivities on his down time, the All Blacks prop back with the Blues in a bid to lose weight for the new season.

The New Zealand players' collective dictates the All Blacks are on leave for another fortnight, but Faumuina returned on Monday having after decided he is "probably a bit out of shape'', saying it's easier to train with his team-mates than by himself.

After enjoying his time away his family during the break, Faumuina is the first from the national team to return full-time to the Blues. Steven Luatua, Frank Halai, Francis Saili and Charles Piutau have also put in appearances.

"What we want him to do is get the balance,'' Blues coach John Kirwan said. "He is one of the key guys in our organisation and we are really proud of what the All Blacks have done and we want them to have a rest. But sometimes it's easier to come in and do the fitness work. It's pretty hard for these guys to train by themselves sometimes so we're really happy to have them.''

Faumuina had one of his best seasons in 2013, capitalising on Owen Franks' injuries to play 10 Tests, including four starts. But calf injuries that have hampered his play for two years resulted in him missing the France and Ireland Tests.

Of former league player Benji Marshall's integration into the 15-man game, meanwhile, Kirwan said: "I said to him the other day, rugby league can be one dimensional sometimes. Everything's in front of you, everyone's running forwards or backwards, whereas in rugby union everything is three dimensional because you've got different angles. But he's a quick learner... he's been more excited about the challenges than anything else.''

The Blues' first pre-season game is against the Hurricanes in Masterton on February 1.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd

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