Ryan Matterson returns to training early following Sydney Roosters premiership victory
Nup, not here in Centennial Park this particular Monday morning.
Where with the temperature already pushing high 20s, and Ryan Matterson sweating heavily, the reigning NRL premier churns through a series of sprints alongside younger brother Dean.
While most of the Roosters 2018 grand final side is — quite deservedly — still on holiday in Bali, Thailand, even the US, this workaholic backrower has effectively trained right through in preparation for 2019 … and a new life with Wests Tigers.
Already, his grand final ring has been gifted to dad Paul for safekeeping.
Roosters jersey, packed away in storage too.
And as for Matterson inking one of those tattoos now such a staple of October success?
“Nah,” he concedes once his fitness work is done. “I’m a cleanskin and happy to stay that way.”
Happy to work, too.
Indeed, while Roosters fans are yet to come down from last month’s raucous grand final celebrations — a game where Matterson played a key interchange role — the talented Greenacre product is already focused on becoming a Tigers starter.
Despite being signed to the club by now departed coach Ivan Cleary, Matterson has since been assured he is part of incoming boss Michael Maguire’s plans.
Better, the 24-year-old is also “completely over” a worrying run of concussion issues which, following three head knocks over as many weeks in May, saw him outed for two months.
Apart from suffering serious migraines, Matterson was also sleeping 16 hours a day, struggling with dizzy spells and battling to cope with even sunlight and the slightest noise.
“And yet all the concussion tests suggested I was right to play,” he reveals. “That’s the scariest thing, I was passing the tests.”
But as for being pressured to play?
“Even if somebody had suggested it, I couldn’t,” he continues. “Even the lightest jog would leave me feeling like I’d played an NRL game.
“So to then be passing the tests … I can’t really explain what that’s like.
“But it gets to the point where you have to draw a line in the sand and say ‘no, I’m not right’.”
While Roosters players are off until the end of November, Matterson rested for just over a fortnight before returning to training alongside Dean, a promising five-eighth signed with Canberra’s feeder club Mounties.
Elsewhere, the Tigers recruit has also been rehabilitating a wrist injury at Cato Rutherford’s Lift Performance Centre in Redfern.
“Personally, I need to keep going,” Matterson says. “If I don’t train, I don’t feel good.
“And with my brother Dean being a playmaker, it means we can do both fitness sessions and ballwork — where I’ll run different lines off his passes.
“Plus, I like to keep on the front foot.
“That’s the thing about winning a premiership, it makes you hungry to win more.”