Sheens asks players to fire up
WITH no silverware to play for, Kangaroos coach Tim Sheens admits it will be hard to motivate his troops for Saturday's Test against New Zealand at Dairy Farmers Stadium.
But Sheens has implored the players to put in one last final effort before they take their well-earned breaks.
"There is a little bit of that, yes, with nothing happening at the end of a long season for them," he said.
"But it is a Test match. They have a high respect for New Zealand, that's for sure, given the closeness of the battles in recent years.
"Motivation-wise, we need to get it done and then they can go on holidays."
Sheens said there would be no thought of holidays during some brutal training sessions in hot Townsville this week.
"We're training virtually every day this week. We've got a pretty tough schedule in front of us, but we want to get ready.
"A few of the guys haven't played for a while," he said yesterday.
"We came up a day early to acclimatise. We'd rather be here now than in December."
The Aussies easily dispatched the Kiwis 42-6 during last year's end-of-season Test in Newcastle.
But Sheens said he expected a much closer game this time.
Meanwhile, Kiwis coach Stephen Kearney (pictured) will join the Broncos next season.
The former Eels mentor, sacked from his role this season, will replace club legend Allan Langer.
Langer has moved into the commercial side of operations at the Brisbane club.
- JOSH SPASARO