The gap between when NRL players finish training for the season and when they start again in preparation for the next is actually pretty short.
However, some manage to make it appear to have been a lifetime, arriving back at club HQ as nearly unrecognisable figures, sometimes for positive reasons, but often for negative, ate-too-many-Christmas-dinners reasons.
With that in mind we have compiled a list of four dramatic NRL off-season body transformations from over the years.
Konrad Hurrell – 2014
New Zealand Warriors fans will likely have a bitter feeling while reading this one.
An off-season binge leading into the 2014 season, which saw him somehow pile on 10kgs while on the NRL’s version of annual leave, was the start of Hurrell’s downfall at the Warriors, eventually leading to him being released to join the Gold Coast Titans.
The blockbusting centre admitted to eating up large while holidaying in his homeland of Tonga, and also neglected to do any form of training through the period.
Dearest gifted me 10x P/T sessions for Xmas..1st one 5.30am tomorrow. I’m at Konrad hurrell’s fitness level after an off season in Tonga!
— Russell (@villaruss) January 11, 2017
It does appear at least that Hurrell learnt his lesson, though, reporting for pre-season training last year looking comparatively svelte – but he was out of favour with the coaching staff and managed just three interchange appearances before being cut losse midyear.
Meanwhile, reports suggest he arrived back at the Titans at the end of 2016 in near peak condition, weighing just three kilograms more than his target playing weight of 106kgs.
In an article published by the Gold Coast Bulletin, Hurrell credited his off-season results to giving up hangi food and hitting the infamous stair climb at Currumbin, Gold Coast.
Whatever works Koni, whatever works.
— telegraph_sport (@telegraph_sport) December 19, 2016
Greg Inglis – 2009
The Queensland Origin star packed on at least six kilograms between the 2008 NRL Grand Final and the start of trial matches in 2009, bumping him up to a 107kg starting weight for the season.
At the time he was primarily playing at five-eighth, making the transformation all the more intriguing.
The bulking up tactic had mixed results, with Inglis struggling for consistency at times through the ’09 campaign, though he ultimately found his mojo and starred in the Storm’s grand final win and was awarded the Golden Boot.
He has a long history of off-season transformations since his NRL debut in 2005, when his initial weight was a measly 88kgs.
A year later he was 92 kilos and by the time he joined South Sydney from Melbourne in 2011 he was a whopping 115kgs, a weight which he later put down to a poor diet which included up to three cans of Coke a night and a heap of white bread sandwiches.
— mitty vila (@mittyAWGZMKvila) August 4, 2012
Sam Kasiano – 2016
The Bulldogs enforcer tied the knot in Fiji recently, at a ceremony attended by a number of famous rugby league faces.
But the real story from a footy point of view came from the photos, and more specifically how much of the frame Kasiano accounted for.
It appears the former Kiwi international has shed big numbers off his 2016-listed 130kg body – which was always unofficially suspected to be even bigger than the Bulldogs let on – with his new shape expected to allow him to play increased minutes in 2017.
While there is no official word on exactly how much weight ‘Dogzilla’ has lost, you can draw your own conclusions from the photos.
“Go Long” – @Sammyboii21990
— NRL Bulldogs (@NRL_Bulldogs) December 10, 2016
Sam Kasiano is literally half the man he used to be! Insane weight loss¡
— Jack Price (@JackPrice89) January 8, 2017
Mark Tookey – pretty much every year
Tookey admitted recently to Rugby League Week that he probably would have played State of Origin football had he been able to look after himself better over the off-season.
History shows he didn’t, tending to pack on the beef over the break and invariably arrive back at pre-season training well overweight.
By the time his stint in the ‘Fat Club’ was finished, it was generally a quarter of the way through the season, his Origin hopes had been dashed and his club side hadn’t seen the best of him.
During his time with the New Zealand Warriors between 2000-04, Tookey had conditions inserted into his contracts which stipulated the skinfold levels he must be at in order to avoid fines from the club.
He received repeat warnings for exceeding these limits. But ultimately all of this added to his character at the Warriors, and to this day he remains a cult hero at Mount Smart Stadium.
— 81M (@The81stMinute) July 14, 2016
Isaac Luke has obviously been on the Mark Tookey diet while in Auckland #NRLWarriorsTigers
— Erik Nielsen (@ErikNielsen2759) August 28, 2016