The unique approach to hamstring injuries of Tom Trbojevic which could benefit Leeds Rhinos’ Harry Newman

Though Leeds fans were out numbered on Friday night away from home against Hull KR, you could definitely hear their agony when Harry Newman began to limp as another hamstring injury looked more than possible.

In the end their worst fears were realised when he trudged off and it was confirmed that he’d suffered a third hamstring injury this season. He’s set for a scan this week to determine the severity of the injury which could end his season, his role in Leeds’ play-off push and his World Cup hopes.

It also puts an end to his outstanding form. The centre has scored some fantastic tries recently against Wigan and Salford, but has also been a constant threat with the ball as he often darts inside weaving in and out of defenders creating space for others as he did for Morgan Gannon’s first try on Friday against Hull KR as well as against Wigan in the play before Cameron Smith’s decisive try.

It’s the third time we’ve seen Newman playing brilliantly to end up limping off. The centre was enjoying an outstanding pre-season and was devastating Hull FC in Tom Briscoe’s testimonial when he was taken off early with the first of his hamstring injuries.

Then against Wakefield in Round Four he made a try scoring return only to be forced off again and now against Hull KR the centre has been hit with a gutting blow.

But how to solve this problem. Newman is one of the best athletes in the league with a unique blend of speed and strength which makes him the best centre in the league to watch when fit.

His coach Rohan Smith even noted how well he takes care of his body yet these hamstring injuries keep coming.

It is a similar situation to a player many consider the best in the world certainly in 2021. Tom Trbojevic is the man in question. He was unstoppable last year as he picked up the Dally M Medal.

However, for a long time his career looked set to be derailed by persistent hamstring injuries as he picked up five in two years.

But these days his hamstrings are less of an issue – so how did Manly go about fixing this?

They turned to hamstring expert David Opar and his team at Australia Catholic University. Opar has had a unique approach to Trbojevic’s hamstring injuries actually getting him to run more rather than less which goes against conventional logic.

If Trbojevic doesn’t reach the required number of sprints in a game, he has to achieve 90% intensity sprints in training afterwards.

This has been complimented by a new running style and has seen the fullback get accustomed to running and his body capable of dealing with the high speeds he’s going to reach in big moments in games.

It’s a strange approach but one that has certainly worked. Perhaps those at Headingley should look to get Opar on the phone in the coming weeks.

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